Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris, No. 20455, 78 x 64 x 13 mm, 160 g, circa 1960
A sophisticated and rare diamond-set powder box in the shape of a clutch - Van Cleef & Arpels "Minaudière"
Case: 18k gold and black lacquer, diamond-set rim, hinged, the interior with mirror.
Van Cleef & Arpels "Minaudière"
Van Cleef & Arpels introduced the "minaudiere" in the 1930s; it is a metal box, usually in gold, adorned with precious stones and intricate patterns that women doubled up as a handbag to hold their necessities. In 1927 Charles Arpels was inspired to create a complex compartmentalised minaudière, the forerunner of all those box metal clutch bags one currently sees at evening functions.
Such is the cachet and quality of a Van Cleef & Arpels piece that it is much favoured by both royalty and film stars, as well as many who prefer stealth wealth.
Case: very good, small restaurations