With its combination of grace and ingenuity, the Minaudière® precious case bag pays homage to the essence of femininity.
In the Roaring Twenties, ladies began carrying their beauty accessories with them in a vanity case. While visiting his socialite friend Florence Jay Gould, Charles Arpels was surprised to see her tossing her lipstick, powder case, cigarettes, and lighter into a Lucky Strike cigarette tin. From this encounter, the idea for the Minaudière® precious case was born.
This piece owes its name to Estelle, the wife of Alfred Van Cleef, whose mannerisms – or “minauderies” – enchanted her entourage.
Roses Minaudière® precious case, 1926, Van Cleef Arpels Collection
Miroir des Eaux Minaudière® precious case, 2003, Midsummer Night's Dream collection
Etincelle Minaudière® precious case, 2006, Une journée à Paris collection
Jardin d'Orient Minaudière® precious case, 2006, Trésors Révélés collection
Haliades Minaudière® precious case, 2007, L'Atlantide collection
The Minaudière® precious case provided compartments for an elegant lady’s various items – make-up, comb, mirror, dance card, cigarette holder, and even a retractable watch – all enclosed within a luxurious case.
The Minaudière® case has become one of the Maison’s emblematic pieces. Examples range from the Volutes model with its sleek black lacquer surface and diamond clasp (1935) to the exquisite Haliades motif in white gold, diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires (2007). A timeless beauty, the Minaudière® case evokes the spirit of Van Cleef & Arpels.