Stratton Compacts: Why Are many Of The 1950s Models So Rare? – The Vintage Compact Shop

Stratton Compacts: Why Are many Of The 1950s Models So Rare?


Without doubt Stratton were the most successful brand of British powder compact. The quality of their enamel was clearly superior to the other British brands at the time. Vintage Stratton accessories are highly collectible today and many have proved to be a good investment.

With thanks to the material written by Juliette Edwards in her book The Stratton Key, collectors can say for certain what model is rare, uncommon & common. Coupled with known years of availability it is possible to build a big picture of exactly how rare an item is.

For example the Stratton ‘Queen with complete inner lid’ is very rare only known to be available in 1957 & 1958. That is the model itself, then you add the lid decorations that were used within in this time frame giving you a new category within the rare compacts - rare models with rarely used lid decorations!

Rare Stratton vanities are a study in themselves & in most cases they are rare because of when they were produced. Often the rare models of Stratton compacts were made in the late 1950s just as production was switching over to models suitable for solid/pressed powder.

Top Rare Stratton Compact Models

  1. Stratton ‘Scone without inner lid’ known to be available in 1948. These are exquisite, often the lids were made from silk which was hand painted. Sometimes this lid did not have a protective cover which explains why you rarely see one. Many must have been damaged by careless handling. This model was replaced by the Stratton ‘Scone’ which had a production run from 1948 - 1962. The featured image for this blog shows this type.
  2. Stratton ‘Contessa’ known to be available in 1963 & 1964 was replaced by the ‘Convertible’ which was already in production & then the similar more slender ‘Mini-Convertible’. Both the ‘Convertible’ & ‘Mini-Convertible’ had very long production runs as they were suitable for both loose & pressed/solid powder. The ‘Convertible’ production run was 1955 - 1977 & the ‘Mini-Convertible’ was 1970 - 1997.
  3. Stratton ‘Marquise’ was only known to be available in 1956 & 1957 & it was replaced by the ‘Slim Convertible’ which was known to be available from 1960 - 1997. Ballet themed compacts were often the theme pictured on this model.
  4. The Stratton ‘Queen with complete inner lid’ is known to be very rare. This model was known to be available in 1957 & 1958. A very short period of production, as in 1958 Statton launched one of their most popular compacts the ‘Queen Convertible’.

You can find out more on the history behind this revered manufacturer in our bespoke fact packs that are supplied with every order from The Vintage Compact Shop - browse all of our rare Stratton compact mirrors.