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I Collect Vintage Powder Compacts

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While looking for new stories for Beauty.About.com, I found a young woman who has her own Tupperware business. But what really caught my eye was the fact that she also collects pieces of beauty history. Here is what Shelly Hill has to say about her collection.

How did you come to begin collecting vintage powder compacts?

I had always loved looking at her pretty girlie things as a child & was thrilled to receive them after her passing.I received 2 pretty powder compacts from my Great Aunt's Estate back in 1997.

How old is your oldest compact?

My oldest compact is dated 1922 from the Flapper Girl Era. I now own about 75 powder compacts. I also own 2 beautiful Mother of Pearl Carry'alls that look like little purses with carrying straps. Inside them is a small powder section, lipstick, plastic comb, mirror and one of them has a small section where the woman would hide her cigarettes as it wasnt fashionable for a "lady" to be a smoker back in those days. When I received this particular carry'all there was a beautiful cotton hankie folded up in that "cigarette" compartment.

Any stories connected to the compact that you know about?

Compacts & Carry'alls were all the rage in the golden oldie days. Back with World War 2, it was common for a soldier to buy a ladies compact & send back to the States for his lady that was waiting at home so there are alot of vintage ladies compacts that have a Military Theme to theme such as Navy, Army & Air Force. Some collectors ONLY collect those types/themes. Alot of collectors choose a theme & collect only that theme when it comes to vintage powder compacts. Some Examples: Celluloid (early plastic) Compacts, Royal Family (Queen of England) Compacts, Guilloche Enamel Compacts, Carry'alls, Sovenior (spelling) Compacts that ladies would pick up on their travels and so forth. Thats the great thing about this collectible is that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

I am a big fan of the compacts made by: Elgin American (tm), Max Factor (tm) or compacts that have Mother of Pearl or Rhinestones as part of their designs.

Luckily for the collector, these days there are several books out on the market that deal with this Collectable.

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