A handsome mid century embellished powder compact from the Mad Men era.
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 3 ins (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1950s to 1960s
MATERIALS: metal, glass
This is a pretty and classic Stratton compact whose base material is brass. The lid is brass and has an engraved floral and leaf design.
Marked “Stratton” on the back
Inside the lid is a mirror and a compartment for powder with a spring up fitting. The hinge is not loose and the closure snaps shut and works well. There is a powder puff and sifter. The case has case has previously contained product.
The collage photograph shows illustrations taken from contemporary ads for compacts, makeup and beauty products. Mid century advertisements were designed evoke an aura of glamour and romance.
An important influence of the mid century was the Modernist style, an overhang from the Art Moderne of the 1930s. This was a more subdued but sculptured look, relying upon its shape and texture for effect, rather than added embellishment. This simpler and perhaps more sophisticated type of ornament was considered suitable for day wear.
The modernist style in jewellery and personal accessories with its asymmetry and clean lines is a natural successor of the late Art Deco style of the 1930s, also called Art Moderne. Modernist compacts are simpler and more sculptural. Rather than being embellished with faceted stones they rely upon minimal surface decoration and upon the excitement of movement and drama of engine turned engraving for their impact. The salient points in this type of design are a concentration upon craftsmanship, integrity of materials and quality of finish.
The British firm of Stratton began production in the 1930s, but the heyday of the company was during the 1950s – 1960s. They produced compacts in a wide range of styles and materials. However by the 1980s the company was in decline and was sold in 1997. Although the name Stratton survives the compacts are no longer made in Britain.
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