Djer Kiss - Kerkoff Heritage & History

Djer Kiss - Kerkoff Heritage & History



This compact is widely admired as the epitome of Djer Kiss - Art Nouveau.The highly collectible Art Nouveau 1925 Djer Kiss "Kissing Fairies" silver plated compact duo. This case signaled the end of the Rowland-Smith Fairy themed compact case for Djer Kiss (pronounced "dear kiss") who were moving from Art Nouveau to the more en vogue Art Deco. Almost as soon as this vanity was produced it was considered old fashioned, which is good news for collectors as it had relatively short production run. It is a highly collectible antique compact rouge. Superbly well made as you can feel by its weight - an exquisite antique compact!

In fact the weight of the case, how much space it took up in the hand & the depth are factors that ensured this was not a popular case at the time, hence a short production run. Sleeker, slim line & light weight cases were the order of the day.

The famous sight of the lid hardly needs any introduction - two fairies kissing surrounded by gorgeous Art Nouveau flowers. The area just above the thumb catch is signed "Djer Kiss".


The lid opens easily to reveal the powder well & the original silver plated powder plate which is signed "POUDRE Djer Kiss KERKOFF" - Kerkoff the French perfumer who created the fragrance "Djer Kiss".


This company was established by Monsieur Darthiailh in 1903 in Colombes, France. The well known Kerkoff salon was situated at Place de l’Opera. In the same year the US Patent and Trademark Office noted the name of ‘Djer-Kiss’ used on these cosmetics Talcum Powder, Perfume & Dusting Powder.


The manufacturing side of this company was a small concern in 1904, having only ten workers in involved in this process. The Russian sounding name appears to be a marketing strategy to make this brand seem different from their French competitors.The firm advertised itself as ‘perfumer to the czars, high-born ladies and kings’.  The management also knew that it was vital to find an American company to manage its affairs - it just had to tap into the wealthy American market.


You can find out more on the history behind this vintage brand in our bespoke fact packs that are supplied with every order from The Vintage Compact Shop - shop Djer Kiss and Kerkoff vanities here.