Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. The computer is still broken so I’m posting this from a laptop. I wanted to add a new post because I really enjoy blogging and also because I don’t want this blog to die an early death or become irrelevant.
Everything changes so quickly on the Internet with blogs, websites, forums, etc. being replaced or getting lost down the ‘memory hole.’ Not having Internet access has shown me that when it comes to online activities (blogs, email, Twitter, etc.), the truth is ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ So, dear readers and friends – here I am, please don’t forget me!
Collecting Vintage Compacts
This post was inspired by a fellow vintage blogger, Powder Keg Compacts. Jenn often features vintage compacts on her blog and offers some lovely ones for sale on her website. Be sure to check these sites out as Jenn is very knowledgeable about vintage compacts!
I’ve been collecting vintage compacts for several years now. I like having a variety of them to use with my different vintage outfits and handbags. I particularly love Art Deco compacts and compacts from the 1940s and 50s in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and materials. As you know, I love novelty items and that is also true with compacts. What I mean by that is compacts that are in irregular shapes such as human hands, telephones, flying saucers, suitcases, watches, pianos, chairs and other furniture. Also, I love vintage compacts that are hidden in another item, such as in a bracelet or even in a stuffed teddy bear!
Vintage Compact Designers
Several different companies and designers created compacts through the 20s to early 60s. Particular companies like Stratton (UK) and Kigu (UK) are very popular and collectible where other brands are more obscure. I’m certainly no expert on vintage compacts, but the companies I come across most often are:
- Max Factor
- Dorset Fifth Avenue
- Helena Rubenstein
- Elgin American
- Coro (yes, the jewellery manufacturer)
- Elizabeth Arden
- Estee Lauder
For a more complete list of designers, visit History and Designers Behind Vintage Ladies Compacts.
My Vintage Compacts
I have yet to add a scarce Schuco teddy bear or stuffed monkey compact to my collection, but I’m on the lookout! Instead, my collection consists of day and evening compacts in a variety of styles from several different companies.
Sometimes I like to use one compact for daytime and one for night, to match my outfit and handbag. I use my vintage compacts for the mirror inside and haven’t replaced any of the vintage powder with new powder. Apparently, it is a ‘no-no’ to keep the vintage powder and rouge in the compact as it can harm the metal and paint. Perhaps when I get a chance, I’ll remove all of the powder and rouge from my compacts. Better safe than sorry! For more on compact care visit How to Collect Vintage Compacts.
Now, a closer look at my compacts!
1950s enamel and rhinestone mirror compact; 1950s gold Avon powder compact.
These are 1950s powder and rouge compacts with the original makeup and sponges still inside. The compact on the left is by Mondaine and the right is by Shields.
1950s lucite silver star confetti compact by Dorset; 1950s cream and gold compact by Elgin American.
This is one of my favourite compacts. It’s a Stratton Piccadilly loose powder compact from the 1950s. A few years ago, I had my photo taken at this very spot in London. I’ll have to add the photo to this post once my computer is fixed. This compact is near mint inside and I don’t believe it was ever used. I’d like to add some powder to it myself. I wonder if any companies make pressed powder inserts that would fit a Stratton vintage compact? If you have any idea, be sure to let me know!
This is my other favourite compact. A 1950s Max Factor watch pressed powder compact. So sweet and unique!
This is my 1950s minaudiere, also known as a carry-all. It includes a place for powder, lipstick, cigarettes and other items. Sadly mine has a rust strain on the top. Any ideas on how to get rid of that?
Do you collect vintage compacts? What are your favourite kinds or companies?
Hope to be back posting regularly soon!