Piaget Rose Day is celebrated the day on which one of the world’s most beautiful roses was christened the “Yves Piaget rose,” thereby becoming a major source of inspiration for the house’s jewellery collections. Piaget inaugurated the completely restored garden of old roses at the Château de Malmaison on June 5th 2014, and wrote a new chapter in the history of one of France’s most celebrated women, the Empress Josephine, and her fabled rose garden. The legendary garden has been meticulously refurbished, along with two of Empress Josephine’s richly embroidered imperial garments with the Swiss jeweller’s support.
Throughout his life Yves Piaget was captivated by the rose and says “The rose brings my childhood back to me.” In 1982, the Meilland rose-breeders dedicated their most beautiful rose to Mr. Piaget. A splendid calyx made up of 80 pale “rose pink” scalloped petals, it was to become the jeweller’s muse and the signature of Piaget jewellery. Piaget shares this deep-felt love of roses with a passionate devotee from another era, Joséphine Bonaparte, the first wife of the Emperor Napoleon, who transformed the grounds of Malmaison into a legendary garden.
Joséphine Bonaparte whose was initially known as “Marie Joseph Rose”, together with Napoleon Bonaparte acquired the Château de Malmaison in 1799. A devoted enthusiast of botany and exoticism, she collected rare plants from all over the world in a 50 metre-long greenhouse. 200 plants, previously unknown in France, blossomed in the midst of exotic animals that roamed free on the Chateau’s grounds. 250 species of roses planted by Empress Josephine, which drew visitors from across Europe has been the highlight of the garden in France. In 1805, the famous illustrator, P.J. Redouté, was commissioned by the Empress to create a comprehensive book on the roses that was to become one of the world’s most important botanical reference materials.
Two centuries later very little remained of the rose gardens and on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the death of Joséphine de Beauharnais (1814-2014), the Domaine de Malmaison embarked on a mission to restore them. They found their benefactor in Piaget and together implemented a massive restoration project, replanting 750 old roses from the First and Second Empires. This year’s Piaget Rose Day will be an opportunity to celebrate this important achievement and pay tribute to a unique part of the national heritage of France.
Piaget has created the Rose Passion High Jewellery collection as a tribute to Josephine and her lifelong passion for roses. The breath-taking assortment of 100 pieces features the iconic Piaget rose motif amidst dazzling diamonds and gemstones. Piaget has succeeded in restoring this masterpiece of early 19th century fashion to the place it deserves; in the same way that it has breathed new life into the rose gardens at the Château de Malmaison. Together, these achievements add yet another chapter in the colourful history of the Yves Piaget rose.