The little Minaudiere

Whilst I have been with the museum service I have had the opportunity to see some wonderful things. I just wanted to share with everyone this fantastic little item. It has been on display three times recently (Hampshire treasures, Dazzle and Little Black dress) and just harks back to a different time. It is made from shiny black and ivory Bakelite or an early form of plastic which is inset with tiny diamates in an Art deco design. It probably dates between 1923-25


This little bag is what is known as a minaudiere which is a small cosmetic/vanity case carried in replacement of a handbag. Minaudieres like this one tended to be decorated with diamantes, I have seen a few other examples lavishly decorated all over with sparking gemstones.

One thing I like about this is how tiny it is. There would have been no room for money in this bag! Because, of course, as a bright young lady in the twenties you would expect everything to be bough for you! You can just imagine it as the perfect accessory to a beaded twenties dress.

Please visit to see more pictures and also view many other bags from the Hampshire Museums Service collection.