Three years ago today my gran died - a lot of things have changed since then and if there's a positive to come from her passing it really opened my eyes into the world of collecting vintage things. You'll probably all know the story of randomly finding five powder compacts in her collection. Other family members wanted to throw them out, but I grabbed and kept them.
These are the ones I saved; blue plastic compact with Avon marked on the puff, Stratton compact [round gold design] square Vogue Vanitie compact with white lace detailing, horseshoe material compact closed with a zip featuring Gorey Castle and an over sized Gorey Castle compact with watercolour picture.
Little did I know that three years on I would own 49 compacts spanning over 80 years and manufactured in 4 different countries [Germany, France, England and the United States]. Everything I know about the compacts has been self taught through the countless compact books I own alongside the two notebooks I have crammed with information I've come across elsewhere. Although I never got chance to bring all my compacts over to the US [I think about 9 are back in the UK] one day my collection will be reunited.
If I had to show you my favorites, well that would be hard. I love them all for different ways - why we brought them, where we found them, maybe it's the colour. But I've managed to pick out six which inspired different parts of my collection;
From top to bottom, left to right;
- The compact that started it off - Vogue Vanitie square English compact, the lack of the "s" in vanities indicates this compact was produced between 1940-42 as the introduction of that extra letter only occurred after the company restarted production after WW2.
- One of the first compacts Joe brought me - 1950s unused Marhill [American] butterfly compact designed with imitation mother of pearl slab.
- Adventuring into mixed compacts/vanities - Columbia 5th Avenue compact, another gift from Joe came with unopened Jergens foundation sachet and hidden rogue compartment under the mirror. The rhinestone detailing always caught my eye and I've been wondering since 2010 as to what it's meant to be.
- Edinburgh find - while holidaying in Edinburgh we were staying so close to so many vintage shops and found this gorgeous, rare 1950s Flamingo compact. I love that it's oval and the flower detailing is divine. This was the first compact I shelled out on - spending £30 for it.
- War love birds - this Zell compact was one of my greatest eBay finds, not only was it unused but it was complete with its original box and mailing boxes which themselves told such a great story of this compact being given as a gift during the war.
- Start of the souvenir collection - after visiting Chicago my eyes were open to all kinds of souvenirs and after spotting this 1933 World Fair compact it found it's way into my collection. It might be small but its still a mixed rogue and powder compact, I love the space age feel to it too. It's also one of my oldest.
Where my collection will go in another three years, who knows!