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have been known to carry some pretty fancy compacts throughout the
decades. Many women have had assortments of compacts to choose from as
they often acquired them as gifts from husbands, suitors and friends.
One of the major accessories for the handbag was the compact and
powdering one's nose soon became a major event.
some of these little accessories were plainer and suited for
practicality, many more were far from ordinary. Art Deco styles
were all the rage during the 1920's, the rhinestone studded examples
were a must have during the 1930's through the 1950's.
rarer compacts offer a special appeal to today's collector.
Hatpins with compacts built into the head are a wonderful find.
These came complete with tiny ostrich feather puffs. Both vintage
toy and compact collectors desire the hard-to-find Schuco jointed
teddy bears and stuffed monkeys, where powder containers hid within
Others spotlight their collections with compacts known as
"flapjacks." These collectibles resemble a
large, flat pancake. They often measure a whooping 6" or so inches
in diameter. If
a large mirror was needed, the flapjack surely filled the requirement,
with glare to spare.
At one time compacts were a favorite souvenir. All types
of compacts featuring everything from the Florida Everglades to
Mount Rushmore can be found on the market today. Sweetheart
compacts are also popular since they
feature patriotic and military themes generally related to World
Compact prices have continued
to rise as the numbers of collectors increases. Even the
most common examples usually sell for $20 and up. The rare
examples mentioned above can sell for hundreds, if not
thousands of dollars each, when found complete and in excellent
Figural compacts are also considered rare or more appropriate, scarce. These examples, shaped
to resemble everything from chairs to pianos, surface fairly
frequently but the steep prices and heavy competition keep many
collectors from owning them.
Even though compacts can get formidable prices, a nice
collection featuring a wide range of examples can still be
accumulated for much less money than other categories of collecting.
your compact clean is not a complicated matter. Just as you would
throw out old make-up, empty out old powder and brush clean regularly.
Chemicals in powder can discolor the metal. Some metal can be
gently buffed with very fine steel wool to re-new or bring out the sheen
but very gently so not to scratch. Never immerse your compact in
water, that's not good for the mirror and will cause erosion.
Washing puffs or sifters is at your discretion but they could
disintegrate. Application of sticky labels should be placed on the
mirror. Do not store your compacts in plastic bags since moisture
could collect and cause pre-mature aging or damage.
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