MEREDITH ETHERINGTON-SMITH, XAVIER NARBAITS
A lush book of photos shines a light on the luxurious bejeweled make-up boxes that quickly became covetable accessories with the advent of beauty products
Exquisite jeweled minaudieres, necessaires, and compacts from the l8th to the 21st centuries are photographed and displayed here in great detail and set within the social and fashion contexts of their creation. Original archive photographs showcase the social leaders, stage and cinema stars, and fashion leaders who carried these exquisite little accessories as indispensable adjuncts to their glamorous lives. These triumphs of the jewelers art were designed to rest glittering on cocktail bars and grand dining tables. They were tiny but also extremely useful as is revealed in detailed photos of their highly engineered interiors. These little boxes were capable of carrying everything a woman might need during the course of an evening which might start at the Ritz and end at Bricktops Jazz Clubeverything from a lipstick, to a powder compact, to a comb, even a cigarette and lighter, hence their generic name of necessaire.