Chanel Fine Jewelry's Coromandel Dreams

I have loved Chinese screens since I was 18 years old. I almost fainted with joy when, going into a Chinese shop, I saw a Coromandel for the first time
— Coco Chanel


Chanel Fine Jewellery brought a breath of fresh air to its traditional offering of camellias and lions by finding inspiration in the decorations of Coromandel screens, which had been so dear to the founder of the house — Coco Chanel had more than 30 lacquered screens at one point, which she described as upholstering her home.

Coco Chanel and her Coromandel screens

Although the Coromandel lacquer screens date from the 17th and 18th centuries, the new jewellery collection also has a distinctive Art Deco feel and lavishly uses mother of pearl along with vibrant greens in the form of Tsavorite garnet, emeralds and tourmaline, plus red spinel and ruby beads offset against black onyx to evoke the screens, which would have used mother of pearl and red lacquer in decoration.

The collection is therefore more colourful than many recent collections where Chanel has often relied on white and yellow diamonds, as well as pearls for its creations.

The fifty-nine pieces in the collection (including 24 that are unique) have been developed around three themes: floral, animal and mineral.

The floral theme inspired a cuff that is reversible, and reworks the geometric structure of the screens on one side with black lacquer, and a bed of gradient yellow and orange sapphires on the other side, with a yellow diamond clasp.

The animal theme was dominated by birds ready to take flight, while the mineral theme is embodied by a stunning plastron necklace in yellow gold, dotted with clouds of mother of pearl and diamonds (including one central six carat diamond) that evokes a Coromandel landscape.

The screens had previously inspired an eau de parfum and several enamelled watches under the Mademoiselle Privé line, but this is the first time Chanel has been using them as a source of inspiration for high jewelry.