Volupte Powder Compacts & Heritage
Rita Hayworth as Carmen in the Columbia Technicolor Motion Picture
'The Loves of Carmen'
"Collecting compacts like these is an exciting idea".....says Rita Hayworth.
'Volupte Inc. 347 Fifth Avenue New York 16'
This advertisement was placed in the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar 1948. The compacts shown in this advertisement are the 'Lucky Purse' & the 'Swinglok'
The firm was founded in the mid 1920s in Elizabeth, New Jersey. As well as manufacturing elegant vanities Volupte created costume jewellery, cigarette cases and accessories.
Volupte was considered to be one of the most adventurous American compact makers & were famed for their novelty compacts.
Volupte emerged as market leader in the 1940s and 1950s, producing a range of elegant functional compacts that epitomized the glamour of the 40s & 50s. Vanity cases, and carryalls highly prized by today’s collectors further established the Volupte brand as truly American Hollywood glamour.
Volupte was definitely one of the most ingenious compact manufacturers.
VOLUPTÉ ADVERTISEMENT IN CORONATION EDITION OF LIFE
27 April 1953
The advertisement above features three suggestions for Mother's Day & reads as follows: ''To make her feel Young and Gay... this is the gift for Mother's Day"
"FLEUR" carryall. Will put stars in her eyes. Exquisite rhinestones on a black background. About $15*
"ROPE OF GOLD" Compact. Unique golden rope design on a silver background. About $7.50
"TIME ON YOUR HANDS", watchcase compact. Clock face motif on white background. About $5.
Other lovely Volupte gifts from $2.00. At fine stores everywhere - or write for the store nearest you.
*Plus Federal Tax
COMPACTS . CIGARETTE CASES . CARRYALLS . LIGHTERS . PILLBOXES.
347 FIFTH AVENUE NEW YORK 16
Advertisements featured the comment, “Volupte reflects the prettiest faces” and stated availability “wherever fine compacts are sold.” These were considered to be upmarket.
A November 1950 ad in Glamour Magazine positions them as collectible. “Now your Volupte compacts serve a double purpose! You use one each day as a beauty accessory–and you display your entire collection in your home to add new excitement and glamour to your decoration!
The granddaughter of the Volupte (Spitalny) family contacted us on 31 January 2020. If she would like to contact us again by email to firstname.lastname@example.org we would be delighted to converse with you and read your stories about the Volupte brand.
You can find out more on the history behind this revered vintage brand in our bespoke fact packs that are supplied with every order from The Vintage Compact Shop - shop Volupte and many more famous brands here.
THE VOLUPTÉ PORTMANTEAU CARRYALL
The Potmaneau is a single access carryall. Volupte described it as a case without handles that opens like a book and 'All-in-one elegance in an afternoon or evening carryall'.
The firm is well known for the exotic and very beautiful enamel lid decorations on the compacts and carryalls. One designer, Richard T. Gaige (1907 - 1992) worked for Volupte before and after WWII in a freelance capacity.
Volupte (pronounced voloopay) made the most delightful carryalls. Ideal for when you do not wish to take a handbag with you but need more than a purse.
VOLUPTÉ MUSICAL COMPACT
Around this time ‘novelty compacts’ were very popular. In terms of vanities the word novelty is a powder compact which has another function. For example: A music box. Or the novelty would have the appearance of another item. For example: The Petite Boudoir made by Volupte to resemble Marie Antoinette's favourite dressing table! The image above shows a wonderful Volupte musical powder box which plays 'Oklahoma' superbly well. The lid is the most gorgeous matte black enamel with an undulating keyboard & musical notes.
The original mirror sticker stating the tune the music box plays is in place. The original box, very soft felt pouch, puff with silk sash emblazoned 'Volupte', sifter and lipstick holder can be seen in the image above. Delightful!
While hundreds of compact manufacturers competed to win the custom of stylish ladies, Volupte epitomized Hollywood glamour. Vanity cases, and carryalls which are highly prized by today’s collectors further established the Volupte brand as truly American Hollywood glamour.
Many Volupte vanity cases were particularly well made. Just a slight push on the thumb catch activates a spring loaded catch which ensures the lid glides open. Compartments for face powder, cigarettes and money ensure this is all you need for that evening out when you do not wish to take a handbag, which is essentially why the carryall came into being. Also this maker often included clever inventions, such as - a drop down metal mirror which makes the most of the space, because paper money could be stored behind the mirror. Satinized surfaces gave the appearance of luxury. This technique was achieved by the gilded metal surfaces being lacquered. This lacquer was then brushed and the finish looked like satin.
Care of Volupte carryalls & accessories:
The interior needs nothing more than an occasional wipe with a soft cloth to remove fingerprints etc. The exterior should only need a wipe with a soft cloth that has been sprayed with Autoglym RUBBER & VINYL CARE. Please be sure not to let this spray near silver backed glass mirrors, as it may damage the silver lining. We like to allow the patina to develop on vintage items. There is no need to use brass polish.
'This Christmas give Volupté, a work of beauty in the palm of her hand!'
Advertisements featured the comment, “Volupté reflects the prettiest faces” and stated availability “wherever fine compacts are sold.” These were considered to be upmarket. A November 1950 ad in Glamour Magazine positions them as collectible. “Now your Volupté compacts serve a double purpose! You use one each day as a beauty accessory–and you display your entire collection in your home to add new excitement and glamour to your decoration! ’Collector’s Items’ by Volupté are exquisitely wrought compacts…gleaming examples of the jeweller’s art… each worth saving and cherishing, as fine as a beloved heirloom.” At the top of the ad, actress Dorothy Lamour proclaimed, ”I get a thrill out of collecting these compacts!”
1952 VOLUPTÉ HARPER'S BAZAAR ADVERTISEMENT
'New! the fashion lighter with matching compact by Volupte'