Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A flamingo and a mirror ... some more vintage compacts

Those of you who are regular readers will know this girl is a vintage powder compact lover. Yet the more vintage powder compacts a girl gets the more picky she gets about the ones she likes or the ones she'll buy. Its the pitfall of getting knowledgeable about something you collect. You sadly don't want any old compact. It's a shame to an extent. Half my problems are solved when Joe buys my presents, he has this most amazing taste about compacts regards of knowing what company they are or their age or history. He just knows. It's that kind of knowledge that irreplaceable and very handy to have. I think I must have had a big grumble about all the "gold" toned compacts out there in the world, at one points that was all I could see; so to give me a surprise and so add a little colour, JJ came up with this little stunner!

In one part it's a step away from the normal powder compact in as much as it's just a mirrored compact rather then one to hold any kind of make-up. This in a point makes it harder to date - seeing it's without  powder it's therefore missing it's traditional Stratton stamp that a collector would use to age its dating. Regardless its still gorgeous and still Stratton in make. The white enamelled top is delicately designed with a blue butterfly and pink roses. I really should be more girlie and buy a proper handbag for work and keep and use this gorgeous compact everyday. Sometimes I just don't want to use and spoil it.

Because compacts aren't the easiest to objects to find in and around where I live, any visit to a new place is always an opportunity to hunt out compacts. Mine and Joe's holiday to Edinburgh became the perfect hunting ground especially with an antique shop within a five minute walk away from the flat we were renting. The only down side was that those we found, weren't cheap.

That was until we stumbled upon this Flamingo oval shaped compact. As a company Flamingo, established by Fulemn Engineering Ltd, were only in production during the early 1950s their limited impact seems to be due to the company's inability to break through a market already full of  compacts by Stratton, Mascott and Kigu to name but three. Therefore run of Flamingo compacts were short and today are very uncommon.

As a large oval shape the edging is gold toned with a topping of  white and red fuchsias with black and gold leaves. Flamingo compacts are sturdy well designed; the company's name alongside "made in England" is stamped under the hinge to the back of the compact. While it does not contain a powder lid, any powder is kept in by a thick puff of which mine still has its original. The puffs thickness and tight fitting acting as a thorough stopper with an additional felt gasket keeping everything in place. 

I slightly feel in love with it instantly until I saw the price. At £35 I was rather shocked a compact could command a price that high but all the ones i'd pulled out to potentially buy were around the £30-£40 mark. But then again I was on holiday so that was the only justification I needed!


  1. I've always thought that your hobby of collecting vintage compacts so wonderful! You must show us the complete collection one day:)


  2. @ Sher - hehe I think I'll have to do a post like that, i think i'm up to a grand total of 22(ish give or take).

    That's an idea to store for a rainy day!

  3. I so need to start a collection!

  4. love the compact with the fuchsias.

  5. Oh my gosh! How lovely. I would love to own one of these.

  6. Oh man, I LOVE the Flamingo one. That's gorgeous. x

  7. Hello,
    I stumbled on your account from 1 1/2 years ago just now, because I was searching through google for Flamingo. I bought a beautiful powder compact from Flamingo at the Christmas antiques fair in Zürich a week ago. It has never been used and what's best it has an inscription inside "all my love Hugh 18.8.1952" and the initials from the woman to whom it was given. This makes it really special.