Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Those interlocking C's on Catherine De' Medici's hairpin resemble the Chanel logo

Did Coco Chanel cop her iconic symbol from the Medici family and pass it off as her own?

Those interlocking C's on Catherine De' Medici's hairpin resemble the Chanel logo

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Photo / Culture Chanel
Photo / Culture Chanel

The news of a French queen's 16th century pin mysteriously turning up in a toilet brought a culturally-stimulating element to my otherwise insane morning. And if your minds function anything like mine, you probably thought to yourself upon first glance at Catherine De' Medici's 4-inch hairpin, that those interlocking C's look remarkably similar to the Chanel logo.

So in today's round of truth or fiction: Did Coco Chanel cop her iconic symbol from the Medici family and pass it off as her own? As much as I appreciate a good historical scandal, I'm here to dispel this myth.

According to Chanel microsite Culture Chanel, those iconic, interlocking C's featured on the French fashion house's quilted lambskin purses, actually finds its origins in the stained glass windows of an Aubazine chapel. Which still leaves us wondering what those C's on the hairpin represent. According to Fontainebleau Palace's conservator Vincent Droguet, it stands for "Catherine," as in 16th century France's ruthless, power-hungry queen, who happened to share a keen appreciation for baubles and architecture.

Read the full story on the unique find, here.

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Reach Esther at elee@philly.com.

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