Rare Vintage Stratton Foil Ship Compact Mirrors

Construction Of Foil Backed Stratton "Scone" Maritime Themed Compacts

Stratton brand vanities are known to be reliable, superbly made and enchantingly beautiful. This post is dedicated to showing how Stratton brand foiled backed maritime themed powder compacts were crafted. 

The image above shows an acetate lid decoration in front of the compact case. This depiction of RMS Pretoria Castle is reverse painted on to the underside of the acetate. The acetate serves as a protective cover and the surface on which the enamel paint is applied. 

The brass which frames the image is gilded, as is the whole compact. This frame is decorated with an engine-turned pattern.

The makers went to a great deal of trouble to represent the subject matter featured on their vanities accurately.


As you can see from on the next image the windows and the gap in the hull through which the anchor rode is paid out must be painted first. 

The layers of enamel are then built up which obscures the grey and black window details and the black hole for the anchor.

The paint is rough to the touch and which proves that these wonderful vanities were hand painted rather than an applied transfer.



The image above shows the construction of the maritime themed Stratton brand compacts in the order of assembly. 

Behind the acetate lid are foil inserts. The first foil insert is mainly decorative.

The gorgeous foil provides the perfect background, as the image below shows. 

The main purpose of the second foil insert is to protect the decorative features, as it forms a barrier between them and the metal plate. 

Another insert made from ridged paper sits in between the mirror glass and metal plate.

This serves to prevent the mirror from moving and also provides a gap in between the mirror and the metal plate.

Finally the mirror is held in place by the mirror bezel.

These types of Stratton compact were all made for use with loose foundation. 

It is highly likely that the firm was commissioned to make these vanities as gifts for the first class lady passengers on cruise liners.

Or, in the case of ships which were engaged in military service, these vanities were crafted as a tribute for their service. An ideal gift for the wives of serviceman serving on or being transported by these famous ships.

Many of these ships also transported refugees to safe havens and so they would have been fondly regarded by their civilian passengers too.

First class lady passengers travelling with prestigious shipping lines would have been given these rather special powder compacts presented in boxes in which a card would have been placed which was printed with words such as:

With The Compliments Of The Captain

The logos of the prestigious shipping lines would have been emblazoned across the lavishly decorated presentation boxes.

A delightful memento of a luxurious cruise!


Sometimes it is possible to find an unused vintage Stratton maritime themed powder compact together with a matching Lipstick Mirror.

One such rare set is depicted above. This highly collectible unused Stratton Scone powder compact is decorated with a charming portrayal of R M M V  Winchester Castle in fine detail. Set atop a glittering golden foil insert this is the most wonderful enamel scene showing this majestic ship moving through the water. The original box, pouch, sifter & signed puff are present. . The bezel is signed STRATTON MADE IN ENGLAND.  The inner lid is signed Stratton. The base is decorated with a fine spiral. 

Together with the compact is a very rare Stratton Lipstick Mirror again with a flawless scene of R M M V Winchester Castle. The lipstick mirror is signed Stratton MADE IN ENGLAND PRO. PAT. NO. 91


Click to view more wonderful Stratton brand collectibles.

Shop the collection.




Please note that although we spend many hours each week updating or compiling new work for our historical blog section which is free to view, we do not offer an appraisal, identification, valuation or dating service to members of the public. 

However, each purchase from our store is shipped with a lavishly illustrated history which dates the item and details the history of the item and that of the maker.