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Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris is still an oasis of luxury. Decadent décor and 17th– and 18th-century details fill the apartment, surrounding the living room with mirrors and crystals—a true reflection of opulence. Her taste for sophisticated style is heightened by hints of baroque lacquer, books, flowers, and especially her treasured Coromandel screens.
Found in the 1910s (and traveling with her from her homes on Avenue de New-York, the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, her suite at the Ritz Paris, and her villa in Lausanne), the screens had a special place in her heart and were a treasured item in each home home. At one point in time, she owned more than 30.
Loved for offering privacy, the screens were moved from room to room and cut, reduced, detached, and transformed to her liking. She added photographs and drawings to them, as well, forming her own type of landscape within her home. “When I look at this screen in the evening, for example, I see doors opening and knights setting off on horseback,” she once said to author Claude Delay.
Last week in Paris, Chanel presented its fine jewelry collection, “Coromandel,” aptly inspired by these Coromandel screens. Encompassing 59 pieces, with 24 of them entirely unique, the collection features reimagined motifs in three categories once loved by Chanel: florals, with emphasis on the Camellia; animals, highlighting the bestiary of Coromandel; and minerals, emphasizing crystals and gemstones.
In each section, we see stunning themed creations reworked and dotted with diamonds and gemstones. The floral theme shines with a reversible cuff bracelet that encompasses the geometric structures of the screen, including a pivoting yellow diamond. The animal theme shows birds from the screen, and a piece catching attention for its diamond ring of over ten carats. And the mineral theme features a yellow gold plastron necklace with clouds of mother-of-pearl and diamond details surrounding a six-carat diamond at its center.