A handsome Stratton mid century mother of pearl embellished powder compact from the Mad Men era.
Bride or bridesmaid gift
CONDITION: good vintage condition
SIZE: 3 ins (7.5 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1950s to 1960s
MATERIALS: metal, glass, mother of pearl
This is a pretty compact whose base material is brass. The lid is brass and has an inset geometric design made from mother of pearl pieces. Please note this is the genuine material and not Lucite or plastic substitute!
It is 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 no powder puff and sifter. The case appears to have never 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.
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.
By the 1950s the makers of compacts and similar vanity items were competing to satisfy the demand for luxury goods. Manufacturing confidence soared in the mid century, and the production of such items was at its height. Many compacts were given a luxurious appearance by the inclusion of exotic materials (whether genuine or faux) such as mother or pearl, tortoiseshell, jade and coral. The lids and cases are often encrusted with fancy decals set with rhinestones and faux pearls.
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