Ultra Vanities

Ultra Vanities

Minaudières, Nécessaires and Compacts

  1. Meredith Etherington-Smith
  • ISBN 9780957150027
  • 29.80 x 24.90 cm
  • Hardback
  • 152pp
  • Illustrated in colour throughout
  • First published 2013
  • Distributed on behalf of Double-Barrelled Books

Exquisite jewelled minaudières, nécessaires and compacts from the l8th to the 21st. centuries, photographed in great detail are set within the social and fashion contexts of their creation, through original archive photographs of the social leaders, the stars of the stage and cinema and the fashion leaders who carried these exquisite little accessories as indispensable adjuncts to their glamorous lives.

These triumphs of the jewellers’ art were designed to rest glittering on cocktail bars and grand dining tables. They were tiny but they were also extremely useful as is revealed in the form of their highly engineered interiors shown in detail here.

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 Bricktop’s Jazz Club - everything from a lipstick, to a powder compact, to a comb, even a cigarette and lighter hence their generic name of ‘nécessaire’.