An exhibition will be staged in the Goldsmiths' Hall from Friday to provide a window on the glamorous world of luxurious make-up boxes.
The exhibition, the Ultra Vanities, brings together more than 300 pieces from the 1920s through to the 1970s, with examples from leading jewelry houses such as Cartier, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Chaumet.
"This is quite a unique exhibition," the curator Meredoth Etherington-Smith told Xinhua. "Goldsmith livery has been here since 1500. So this rare and beautiful exhibition of jewelry making ... covers an area we have forgotten for a long time. But now we are more interested in it again."
Among the exhibits one was from China, which was a wooden box made in the Qing Dynasty, decorated exquisitely with turquoise, coral and mother of pearl.
But there are also many resembling the Chinese works of art. Calling them one of her favorite groups, the curator explained that they were actually the Shanghainese design.
"Shanghai in the 1920s became a very Art Deco city. It was called the Paris in the East, which intrigued Europeans. A lot of successful people went there," she said.
"What the Paris jewellers did was to buy their own jade plugs, carve these jade plugs and set them onto the boxes so as to give them the so-called Shanghainese look," Etherington-Smith added.
The exhibition will run until July 20. "With this exhibition, we wanted to revive public interest in these boxes, because they are magic," said the curator.