Western Cosmetic Utensils

The Beauty of Make-up Sets

Oct. 1(Sun), 2017- Mar. 11(Sun), 2018

Western cosmetic culture flourished along with other contemporary trends from 18th century Rococo to early 20th century Belle Epoque style. There were boxes to contain ‘face patches,’ artificial beauty marks fashionable in the 18th century, and portable make-up kits to meet the socially advancing woman’s travel needs in the early 20th century. Cosmetic utensils reflect make-up and fashion trends, but also indicate social transitions and changes in women’s lifestyle.
 Women considered beautiful cosmetic utensils to be more than simply practical tools, and they were deeply concerned with and paid close attention to the appearance of such personal furnishings. Cosmetic sets with bottles, powder boxes, mirrors, etc. all decorated in the same design point to the extraordinary importance women felt towards cosmetic utensils.
 This exhibition introduces cosmetic utensils from the Pola Museum of Art collection dating from the 18th century to the 20th century. Along with the Silver Dressing Set with Iris Design, a number of make-up sets that combine functionality and beauty are presented. We hope the exhibition will give visitors a chance to envision the lifestyle of the women who used these beautiful items.

w300_キューピッド花文つけぼくろ入れ(パッチボックス)

Patch Box with Cupid and Floral Design
18th century

h234_珊瑚象嵌化粧ケース

Dressing Case with Coral Inlay
Mid-19th century

w234_花文マイクロモザイク手鏡

Hand Mirror with Floral Micromosaic
Second half of 19th century

h234_連珠文銀製手鏡

Silver Hand Mirror with Bead Design
Late 19th century-Early 20th century

w300_ルイ16世様式ガラス化粧セット

Glass Toilet Set in Louis XVI Style
Second half of 19th century

h242_あやめ文銀製化粧セット

Silver Dressing Set with Iris Design
1903-1907

h242_青エナメル装飾ジップ付き化粧ケース

Zip-opening Dressing Case with Blue Enamel Decoration
ca.1930s