One of the absolute pleasures of revisiting my collection of make up products is that I’m learning new things about the pieces I own. I have The Make Up Museum (HERE) to thank again for the extra leg work on this one although I had thought I was pretty knowledgeable about it.
It’s the only CHANEL palette that I can remember coming in a lacquer box or any sort of surrounding box other than the standard cardboard. I suppose it was to elevate the origins of the concept – of the Coromandel screens that Mme Chanel was so fond of. I visited her apartment in 2013 (although it feels much longer ago) in Paris and sure enough, her beloved screens were there.
A Coromandel screen is a lacquered screen in several folds from China – known as ‘Coromandel’ because they came to Europe from China shipped via the Coromandel coast of south east India.
The detailed work is so precise because it used laser technology – an electronic arm – to control a beam to create the decorative incisions as well as polish and colour. It was cutting edge at the time but even so, I don’t know of a more beautiful artwork on make-up than this one.
From top to bottom, the details are olive branches, gold Chinese scrolls and decorated lacquer designed to make the whole piece look like a fragment of a screen. And it does. It turns out that the Coromandels de CHANEL palette is highly sought after – £279 on eBay. Who knew?
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