Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The complete vintage compact collection to date

Sher gave me the brilliant idea of detailing a full post on my blog regarding my complete compact collection - I say complete and later remembered i'd forgotten to photograph and mention two more compacts - one being a plastic purple flowered compact and another the powder I use everyday - a Per Una simple compact. A year and a half ago I started collecting compacts after finding one ... then four more random old compacts when we were clearing out my grans house. I took them to clean them up merely because I thought they were too nice to through away, this was their first every picture and mention on my blog;
The five inherited compacts originally blogged about on 21st September 2009
These were the ones that started it all off, and despite the two i've missed on this occasion (the purple one can be seen in the image above) this is a collection which varies in countries of origin, size, shape and cost. To make it easier to photograph and therefore for you to view, I've divided my collection into five "themes" with each compact briefly described underneath.

Stratton compacts 
During the 1950s up to 50% of all the compacts in the United Kingdom were made by Stratton, the market was dominated by them and to a point - still is. I don't have too many Stratton's I will be honest - I prefer lesser known brands. 
Back row 1952/3 Pantoon style compact with micraclean mirror cleaner (present from the parents), front row L-R first compact I found/owned gold toned flower engraved compact (inherited from my gran), white enamelled rose and butterfly two mirrored compact (from Joe), blue large compact possibly originally sold as a set with matching lipstick (ebay)

Vintage American powder compacts
All these compacts have been gorgeous gifts from my boy all sourced in America in random vintage shops in suburban Detroit or Ebay; I love American powder compacts - they seem a lot more daring, colourful with much more shape and content variety then their English cousins. 
Back row - Elgin 1940s chameleon two toned compact, unmarked Pennsylvania state map rectangular compact, middle row - the French Pegi of Paris plain square unused compact, Columbia of 5th Avenue powder and blusher compact, unused Marhill mother of pearl topped butterfly compact, first row - 1940s  American Beauty car boot shaped Greek key edged compact, small Elgina powder and rogue compact possibly from the 1930s when compacts went tiny and often were combinations of rouge, lipstick and or powder.

Branded English compacts 
Gathered from a various source of places and eras, showing the best of British between the 1940s to the late 1950s when compacts were at their height; showcasing British craftsmanship and engineering.

Unmarked British compacts
A lot of the compacts you might come across (away from Ebay) most probably will be unbranded, only marked by a "made in" and or patent number. Sometimes these were merely sold as cheaper alternatives, made by lesser known companies wanting in on the hay day or as souvenirs. 

Miscellaneous compacts - old and new
Just what I call my random compacts - brands that are unknown or compacts that are the contemporary version.  

So there you have it, a year and a half and 24 compacts down, here's hoping for a total of 48 in another 18 months. You can find more individual compact information, a more detailed reasoning why I started collecting them and some hopefully useful hints and tips on my compacts blogger page here.


  1. i loved this post! i find compacts so interesting - isnt it amazing to think that your compact once belonged to someone else and they used it to get dressed up xx
    Ella @ Belle Vintage

  2. Cheers girls! And yeah Ella - I love trying to imagine why they were brought and who for especially all the American ones from 5th Avenue - hopefully them travelling over here (if only for a little stay) is adding to their story x

  3. Wow im in love!! Thanks for finding my blog and leading me to yours! So lusting after your compacts! I love collecting them, and nothing better than the thrill of finding one at a car boot! Scarlett x

  4. What a lovely collection. I'm blown away by the quality and beauty of them all.
    I'm glad you're well and still blogging, it's been a long time. xxx

  5. Your welcome Scarlett - its good to meet a fella compact collector and hunter!

    VV, yeah i'm still here finally got back into the swing of blogging again glad to see your still around too x

  6. omgosh you have the most amazing collection of compacts!! all gorgeous and beautiful.. now i'm dying to see what your vanity looks like haha

  7. Lisa - I fear my vanity is a bit of a let down and not very girlie in the slightest hehe it's something I need to work on for sure!

  8. This is so beautiful, Rachael! I've been longing to see your whole collection for some time now. You must think of a way to showcase them once you build your own nest with Joe:)

    I'm sure it will truly look wonderful!

  9. Oh my heck, this collection is incredible! I love the one with the pictures on them. The one in the shape of a rose is pretty too. Goodness I am seriously so impressed with your collection. What a cool thing to have.
    If you're ever by chance come to Utah, there is this awesome vintage thrift store that has a ton of compacts. If you ever randomly come here, let me know and I'll definitely let you know where it is. :)

  10. Cheers haylee! If we're ever road tripping Utah way I'll make sure to ask - any excuse for more thrift and vintage stores!

  11. Oooh I love all these. Compacts are so beautiful and dainty. I love all these!!


  12. Thank you for popping by and commenting LOCA - some of them are very dainty and very feminine.

  13. I have one pretty similar to your Kigu of London one I think - you can see a small pic here:


    (Not in the habit of leaving links but its just so you can haver a look if you want lol) xo

  14. Cheers for the link carlito! They are rather similar aren't they - just a smaller version. I've seen a few like them both - some are quite fancy little powder pots too rather then a compact idea.

  15. Rachael, I enjoyed seeing the vintage compacts you have in your collection. It was interesting in that I have an Elgina compact with the flip sections for rouge and one for powder. I have another compact from France, given to me in the eary 70's.

  16. Thank you for your message Marie - I do love the combo compacts they always seem very elegant x

  17. These truly are beautiful, I love vintage compacts although I haven't got any myself.
    And thank you, I think the photograph idea would work perfectly, I think I may have to go on a hunt for compacts as lovely as these!


  18. Hi : ) Just had a nosy through your blog at your collection: It's beautiful and I've learnt loads about vintage compacts from reading your blog! I think the mother of pearl butterfly design is my favourite, it's beautiful; I don't have anything like that one! Hoping to see an update of your collection soon xxx