Antique and collectible history

History of Art Nouveau Silver

History of Art Nouveau Silver

Art Nouveau style was first seen in the early 1800s & was almost gone by the time WWI began. Art Nouveau structures graced city spaces, public buildings & also the homes of the wealthy throughout Europe & America. It can be said to be a movement that touched every aspect of life. Instead of being confined to galleries this art is seen in everyday items & transformed them into art. From architecture to textiles, furniture, glassware, jewellery (jewelry), accessories, pottery & graphic design - the world influenced by Art Nouveau was a more beautiful place.
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Zenette Compacts & History

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.

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Dorothy Gray Compacts & Heritage

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.
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Volupte Powder Compacts & Heritage

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.

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Stratton Compact Mirrors & Heritage

Stratton Compact Mirrors & Heritage

The company we know today as 'Stratton' began trading in 1860. At this time they were 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. 
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Coty Compacts & Heritage

Coty Compacts & Heritage

In 1904 Francois Coty founded his company in Paris. His dream was to revolutionize perfume making. In 1908, Coty relocated his manufacturing headquarters to Suresnes. He acquired property and began to turn the area a center of excellence dedicated to the manufacture of perfume, to realize his dreams. “ La cite des parfums “ would, at its height employ in the region of 9000 staff. It had the capacity to manufacture 100,000 bottles of perfume a day.
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Cartier Jewelry & Heritage

Cartier Jewelry & Heritage

Société Cartier designs, manufactures, distributes and sells jewellery, watches and other fine items of fashion. The firm was founded in Paris, France in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier. The company maintains its headquarters in Paris.
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About Adie Bros

About Adie Bros

The firm was incorporated in 1906 joining the firms of McKewan & Adie (manufacturing jewellers, gold and silversmiths) and Edward Souter Barnsley  (box and case makers). The firm was controlled by Percy Adie until 1901 and afterwards by Tony Adie and Frank Taylor. In the late 1960s the firm became part of British Silverware and closed in 1968.
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About Silversmiths Garrard & Co

About Silversmiths Garrard & Co

The luxury brand Garrard & Co. Limited, formerly Asprey & Garrard Ltd., is  headquartered at Albemarle Street in Mayfair, London. Garrard was the first official Crown Jeweller charged with the upkeep of the British Crown Jewels, from 1843 to 2007. Garrard & Co. created and cared for many tiaras and jewels adorning members of the British royal family we see today. Some of the world’s most famous sporting trophies were created by Garrard’s team of superb jewellers. These include the Americas Cup and the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy.
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About Mappin & Webb Antiques

About Mappin & Webb Antiques

In 1775 Jonathan Mappin started a small cutlery workshop in Sheffield. Within a year the first Mappin hallmark was recorded at the assay office. In 1780 Jonathan Mappin was given the Freedom of the Cutlers Company. As you can see from the image above this became a hugely successful concern. The company expanded internationally and received royal commissions from all over the world. The monarchs were so impressed by the excellence of the goods produced royal warrants followed. The name of this enterprise became synonymous with excellence and symbolizing the best of British. 
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Extremely rare sterling silver musical Kigu powder box

Extremely rare sterling silver musical Kigu powder box

A couple of years ago I was 'speaking' by email to David Kiashek, who is a descendant of the founder of the world famous Kigu vanities. He told me when Kigu made the solid silver musical powder boxes they only made between 12 - 18 of each model. Which means they were rare when they were first produced. 

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How to date your vintage Stratton powder compact.

How to date your vintage Stratton powder compact.

Eleanor & I made a video for people who wished to date their vintage Stratton powder compacts. In 1997 the Company that made the Stratton powder compacts was sold & they ceased to be British made. Many collectors like only to collect antique or vintage powder compacts & so it is essential that we can date our purchases. Today Stratton compacts are still being made but they are not vintage compacts & there is a lot of confusion about what is & is not a vintage Stratton.

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