Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. retains a “Collection of International Antique Compacts” for research purposes.
Early 20th century compacts from around the world are introduced with their back-stories.

* Some compacts are introduced per thematic era rather than per decade of manufacture.


Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.’s “Collection of Antique Compacts”

This collection of antique compacts began in 1990 as we sought to learn more about the culture behind makeup, and we now have collected 1,074 compacts and makeup articles manufactured in 22 countries between the 1850s and 1950s.
Their historical background and the culture of women’s makeup are being researched together with the “era, materials, and country of manufacture.”

The History of Compacts and Women’s Roles in Society

A compact is a special container designed to store face powder, and was developed to be easily carried by women in order that they could reapply their makeup.
These compacts rapidly became very popular in the early 20th century when female labor became essential due to the development of modern industry and the war, which increased the number of opportunities for women to go out.
They encompass a wide range of types, from small compacts or those that used gorgeous materials in the early stage, to designs that reflect the state of society, which lead to their present shape.

Unique piano-styled compact, “Sonata,” which celebrates the music came back after the war

Compacts were expensive, cutting-edge fashion, and were treasured by women in the same way as accessories.
Diverse and highly fashionable items that reflect the “fairer sex’s” intrigue with beauty are introduced sequentially through the eras.
Compacts through history convey an air of vibrant times.
We hope you can imagine the makeup and culture of the women who used those compacts at that time.

“Bird in Hand”
Designed by Salvador Dali, the master of surrealism

We shall continue to explore and offer more beauty-related proposals in the future.

While valuing the history and culture of “beauty,” Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. will continue to research beauty and offer further proposals for the future.
Through this collection, we hope you feel a sense of “women and beauty” and “the pleasure of applying makeup.”