A minaudiére is a name given to an early 20th century box-form fashion accessory carried in the manner of a small handbag or reticule. Many glorious examples were made by the top jewellery firms in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, for example Van Cleef & Arpels and Asprey. They usually contained toiletry items in the form of a powder puff with powder and mirror - some examples included a lip salve, small comb, pencil & notebook etc. Others included a money clip and coin slots as in this example. This charming silver minaudiére is marked sterling and is monogrammed for ‘Eileen’ and has the maker’s mark of ‘N & H’. This is most likely of American manufacture. When opened, it shows a lidded space for powder, a mirror which lifts to reveal another compartment beneath, slots for three different sized coins and a money clip inside the lid. It has a long silver chain attached so could be carried over the wrist or held in the hand or placed in a larger handbag. The condition is excellent for age apart from some slight marking on the mirror. This item would be a lovely addition to a collection of handbags or silver objet de vertu. Length not including chain 4.25 ins (10.8cm), width 3.5 ins (8.8cm). Weight 152 grams. This item appears in my book, “Antique Boxes, Inside and Out” on page 416.
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