Beauty through the Ages: A Dazzling Display of Vanity

2014-09-30 08:30 - 2014-11-30 16:00

Beauty through the Ages: A Dazzling Display of Vanity

When: 30 Sep - 30 Nov 2014
Where: Garden of Virtue and Harmony (Deheyuan), Summer Palace


Necessaire, 6.44 x 3.67 x 1.1, Gold, enamel, diamonds

两依藏博物馆外借珍贵馆藏 9月30日起北京颐和园公开展出

Liang Yi Museum, Hong Kong's largest private museum, announced the loan of 265 vanity cases from its private collection to go on display exclusively at the Summer Palace in Beijing, China from September 30 to November 30, 2014 in the Garden of Virtue and Harmony (Deheyuan) at the Summer Palace. The Garden was built by the Empress Dowager Cixi for her and the Emperor Guangxu to enjoy Chinese opera, and includes the best preserved theatre in China.


Compact, 8.2 x 3.8 x 1cm, Gold, enamel, diamond, pearls; Signed 'Lacloche Frères'

The exhibition, "Beauty through the Ages: A Dazzling Display of Vanity" showcases a diverse range from the gold mesh bags of the late 1900s, to the Art Deco period, and the predominantly silver pieces from the 1940s and 1950s. Key pieces include a Hermes compact, a Cartier necessaire and a delicate egg-shaped powder compact.


Necessaire, 8.2 x 4.3 x 1.3 cm, Gold, enamel, jadeite, diamonds, onyx; Signed 'Cartier'

Lynn Fung, Managing Director of the Liang Yi Museum, said, "As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Summer Palace in Beijing is one of the most beautiful places in Asia, and we are delighted to be able to share our collection in such a suitably exquisite environment."

Powder Compact

Powder Compact, 2.04 x 2.98 tall (egg shape), Precious metal, enamel

The pieces have been carefully selected from the Liang Yi Collection which comprises the world's premier collection of bejewelled clutches, compacts and powder boxes. Made in the finest design houses such as Cartier, Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels, these nécessaires and minaudières, glittering with precious stones and showing exquisitely detailed craftsmanship, were once a staple of every lady's evening wear.

Powder Compact

Powder Compact, 2.04 x 2.98 tall (egg shape), Precious metal, enamel

Mr Qin Lei, Assistant Curator of Summer Palace said, "The Summer Palace is the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China as well as being an important venue in the context of traditional Chinese imperial foreign relations. The Liang Yi vanities collection tells the story about the history of cosmetics and showcases exquisite workmanship. Some of these antique cases were inspired by the West's fascination with the East, and similarly to the Summer Palace they are valuable pieces that exemplify cross culture exchanges during this period."

Powder Compact with lipstick tube

Powder Compact with lipstick tube, 6.1 x 3.9 x 1.1 cm, Silver, silver gilt, emeralds, rubies, sapphires

The entire Liang Yi Collection encompasses over 500 examples from the late 1880s through to the 1960s. The Collection provides an elegant peek at a bygone era and has been previously loaned to other museums, including the Palace Museum in Beijing and Goldsmiths Hall in London. The Collection is now largely housed at the Liang Yi Museum in Hong Kong, which is also home to one of the world's largest and best curated collections of Chinese antique furniture, made of the treasured materials huanghuali and zitan, from the Ming and Qing dynasties.


Price: RMB60
Opening Hours: 8:30-17:00 30 Sep - 31 Oct; 9:00-16:00 1-30 Nov
Add: No.19, Xin Jian Gong Men Rd, Haidian District, Beijing


*Information provided by Liang Yi Museum

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