Sunday, 3 July 2011

London Masterpiece VI: a CARTIER necessaire at SJ Phillips

This 1925 lacquer, mother-of-pearl and diamonds "necessaire" box was made by Cartier and is on display at Masterpiece by London dealer SJ. Phillips. Precious objects for women to carry their essentials can be traced back to the eighteen century in different versions, but the use of make up (in the 1920s) revolutionised the design. Vanity cases, like the one above, designed to keep powder and lipstick became another piece of jewellery and a fundamental part of the matching outfit. The most sophisticated version of them was Van Cleef's invention of the Minaudiere, a larger version with a cigarette compartment as well!.