Chanel Scarab Minaudière
11 June 2019

Chanel Scarab Minaudière

At the end of last year, Chanel presented their Egypt-inspired Métiers d’Art 2019 Paris-New York collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. And, when Egypt serves as an inspiration, there’s bound to be scarabs (a large dung beetle) thrown into the mix. Belonging to the beetle family, the Egyptians considered the scarab so sacred, that they began to make amulets that took the shape and form of these very insects.

The Scarab minaudière from the Pre-Fall Métiers d’Art 2019 collection is definitely one that Chanel collectors would be clamouring over. Unlike most of the other Chanel novelty minaudières which are most often either made of enamel, leather, or resin, this Scarab right here, in my opinion, is one of the most precious-looking – and by that, I also mean most expensive looking – minaudières  that Karl had ever designed. Though made primarily of resin, gold-tone hardware with some strass,  the way the resin on the main body was shaped and cut creates the illusion as if the scarab was created with jewels instead.


Chanel Scarab Minaudière Métiers d'art 2018/2019 Egypt Back view

And, keeping with the Egyptian theme, flip the scarab over to the back, and you’d also see some hieroglyphics. If you’re wondering what these symbols mean, I tried to find that out too. I reached out to a friend who specialises in Egyptology (@ArcEgyptologist), and she confirmed that these symbols exist. The rectangle that you see is “bread”, followed by a bird which can either mean “bird” literally, or “God, a leaf (which is the letter “i”), the zigzag pattern is “n”, and then finally, the lion. However, when I asked her to decode what they collectively meant, well, she said that all hieroglyphics meanings are contextual, but in this instance they make no sense because of the inconsistent direction and the lack of context. Hieroglyphs are written in a singular direction, and because the lion and bird face opposite directions, it implies that it doesn’t carry any specific meaning. So there you have it, lovelies. Uncle Karl basically threw random hieroglyphs thrown together, well except for the CC which is, pretty self-explanatory and not a hieroglyph at all.

So, let’s just take things at face value, and appreciate the stunning scarab that seems that it was made by actual jewels.


Images: Chanel