№ 3232

Enamelled mindaudière with jewelled clasp which can also be used as brooch, Asprey, London

At the beginning of the 1930s, a customer of the Paris jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels used her cigarette case as a handbag. This inspired the jeweller to design the minaudière: a small, usually rectangular, metal box with compartments for powder, rouge, lipstick and cigarettes, and with a mirror, comb and/or a lighter. With this luxurious (evening) bag, Van Cleef & Arpels set a trend followed by many well-known jewellers and brands, while cosmetics companies came out with more affordable versions.
England, 1939.