Antique and collectible history – Page 5 – The Vintage Compact Shop

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History of Art Nouveau Silver

Art Nouveau style was first seen in the early 1800s & was gone by the time WWI began. Art Nouveau graced city spaces, public buildings & also the homes of the wealthy throughout Europe & America. From 1820 to 1890 French silver was dominated by what can be described best as ‘eclecticism’ an infusion of influences of all the 19th century styles from the Neo-classical forms to the florid, extravagant styles which culminated in the Art Nouveau Spectacular Naturalism where nature & art make you almost forget the materials used like the door at La Maison Laviroette. It is as though the form becomes more important that the materials used. Art Nouveau captures the attention like no other movement, not...

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Zenette Compacts & History

The brand name Zenette was owned by the Collins family - C.H.Collins & Sons Ltd of Hockley Hill, Birmingham, England. The company was in operating from the first decade of the 20th Century. At the British industries Fair of 1929 they were listed as manufacturers of “Collar studs, sleeve links, ...powder boxes & compacts.” From the mid 1920s to 1940 Zenette branded compacts were often highly stylized Art Deco designs. Some of the most beautiful Art Deco powder compacts made from non-precious metal were Zenette. Records show that the Company was still operating in the 1960s but by then the style of powder compact has changed to a ‘modern’ shape. No longer loose powder compacts. If you were to ask...

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Dorothy Gray Compacts & Heritage

Without doubt Dorothy Gray compacts are some of the most collectible & eye-catching. During WWI the Company first appeared & its founder was one of those remarkable women who was a pioneer in the cosmetic business. Although today nobody except compact collectors have heard of this lady in her day she was as well known as Helen Rubinstein or Elizabeth Arden. She was a farmer’s daughter born on 18th December 1886 in Maine, USA. She was named Dorothy Cloudman. Later on she changed aged 24 years old she changed her name to Dorothy Cloudman Gray. Her first notable employment in the cosmetics business was working in Elizabeth Arden’s Fifth Avenue Salon. By 1915 she had been sacked as Elizabeth Arden...

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Volupte Powder Compacts & Heritage

Volupte were considered to be one of the most adventurous America compact makers & were famed for their novelty compacts. Volupte emerged as market leader in the 1940s and ’50s, producing a range of elegant functional compacts, that epitomized the glamour of the 40’s & 50’s. Vanity cases, and carryalls highly prized by today’s collectors further established the Volupte brand as truly American Hollywood glamour. Volupte were definitely one of the most ingenious compact manufacturers. 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...

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Stratton Compact Mirrors & Heritage

Stratton started out in 1860 as a knitting needle manufacturer. They marketed their first powder compact in 1923. Their compacts were imported from the USA, and given the name “Stratnoid”. Which was the same brand name as the company’s knitting needles. By the early 30s, the compacts had became known as “Stratton”s, borrowing the name from the hero in a popular novel.   The rebrand was a great success and by the mid 1930s, Stratton produced over half of all compacts used as a part British cosmetics at that time. In 1940 due to Germany’s WWII blitz of Britain disaster struck. Four of the five Stratton factories were destroyed. Production was forced to a standstill. Manufacture resumed after the war,...

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