Compacts of the Jazz Age
Efflorescence of Art Deco significantly changed the concept of design, and working women came to prominence during this era. Fashionable women called “flappers” dancing in the hall while carrying their compacts was part of the trend. Compacts in modern colors and with finger chains (ring and chains) were characteristic.
A compact named Black Chatelaine in the shape of a pocket watch.
Its stylish body is a powder compact with blush hidden within the lid section, and its handle houses an octagonal lipstick.
Its beautiful Art Deco design makes it stand out, emphasizing its high artistic value and reflecting the era of its creation.
Merry Xmas 1929
This compact has a very modern feel, equipped as it is with a lipstick holder on the end of a tango chain. The staircase pattern on the lid is a quintessential Art Deco design element, and the creamy yellow enamel gives this compact a rare refinement. Made in 1929 as a Christmas gift, it is complete with an original case, catalog and gift card.
Created for ladies who frequented dance halls. Even if the compact flips over during a dance, the detailed pattern on the back allows the compact to be enjoyed whichever side is visible. The compact portrays an era where women danced gracefully with light steps, carrying the compact elegantly with a finger through the tango chain ring.
Gold Flower Basket
This precious small compact could almost pass for a gold pocket watch. It is decorated with a finely featured relief, and attached to a delicate tango chain. While it is a very elegant item, the use of the flower basket motif that was so popular at the trendsetting Paris Expo and the presence of a chain for easy carrying at the dance halls that were all the rage at the time suggest that the owner was a dedicated follower of fashion.
This compact features flower baskets of the early Art Deco period and an oriental fringe. Sterling silver with an enamel coating created a very tasteful piece to suit sophisticated ladies. The inside of this compact was revolutionary for its snap-in structure, enabling powder to be attached to both halves. The insides can simply be removed, so it seems the powder colors could be changed to suit one’s mood.
This compact strongly reflects the early Art Deco features from the time when “modern girls” first appeared. The profile of a lady framed in a window under a star has a lasting impact. Employing the era's latest coloring and materials, and taking feminine motifs and soft lines as its departure point, Art Deco became increasingly geometrical as the years passed.
Although tiny, this is a stylish rouge compact with a mirror behind the lid. It is adorned with a head figure of Josephine Baker (1906-1975), who was fondly known as the Bronze Venus. Raised in a poor neighborhood in the States, she was always discriminated against. She started her career as a chorus girl, later moving on to become a dancer and chanson singer, for which she became famous in the States and France, she influenced on Picasso and Hemingway. She also had a pilots license, supported the American Civil Rights Movement, adopted orphans from many different countries, devoting herself to making a difference in society. Even now, her old trinkets can be found here and there in France.
Women's social advancement began with careers such as dancing and singing. Chorus girls with different colored costumes are delicately drawn on this compact. Clothing accentuated with rhinestones and hand-painted bodies give such a feeling of realism that they seem ready to dance. Being in the limelight was everyone's dream back then. This compact was designed for women who viewed life as their stage and wished to always be ready to dazzle.
The famous dancer, Lola Montez, was born in Ireland and passed away in 1861. She dedicated her life to dancing, and was loved and loathed in almost equal measure, as she was a pioneering symbol of women's independence. This compact was made in America, where she resided in her twilight years.
Take Flight Ⅰ
A female pilot features as the motif on this small compact. Women began to assert themselves in society in the 1920s, with many dreaming of becoming a pilot – a profession that would put them on par with men – and female pilots were often seen as motifs on photos, paintings, and lithographs. One of those, Amy Johnson, left her mark in grand style by setting a number of aviation records in her biplane. Her achievements were celebrated in song and film, and the plane she flew is on display at the Science Museum in London.
Take Flight Ⅱ
A female pilot is designed on this small compact. Becoming a pilot was the dream of many women. Women looked up to aviatrixes and imitated their flight wear. Women's fashion started to adopt trousers from this era.
Amelia Earhart earned her pilot's license in 1921, and in 1932, in a Vega, became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She was a leading icon of her time, and even today, adventurers continue to search for traces of her.
A compact decorated with a hand-painted aviatrix. Many young women dreamed of becoming pilots in the 1920s and 1930s. Jacqueline Cochrane (1910 – 1981) was an aviatrix pioneer who earned her pilot's license in 1932 after only three weeks of instruction. Two years later she founded a successful cosmetics company. She started air racing in the same year and in 1938 won a trans-American race on her third attempt. This piece symbolizes an era in which women began to assert themselves and stand shoulder to shoulder with men.
It may look like a model plane, but this is also a genuine compact. The wings hold powder, blush and a compartment for knick-knacks. It is unclear when precisely it was made, but likely in the 1920s and 1930s, and this piece is thought to be modeled on an aviatrix's plane. Compacts depicting aviatrixes with their aircraft were very popular at the time, and the Kanebo Collection has three examples.
An unusual compact that looks just like a teddy bear, with the compact hidden in its belly. On hearing how American President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a wounded bear, a toy maker was inspired to create the teddy bear, naming his invention after the president, and teddy bears went on to become the fourth most popular collectors’ items in America, after coins, stamps and dolls. Cinnamon red teddies are particularly highly valued.
A compact decorated in a fun red, white and blue colored pattern. Inside the compact, opened by releasing the blue clip, is face powder and pressed rouge, the latter a delicate shade going by the name of Holly Red. Perhaps a lady applied it to her cheeks before going out on Christmas Eve.
Bringing to mind the words "Something Blue," this compact, with its gold lattice laid over light blue, uses Japanese Inro (pill box) as its motif combined with Western coloring.
The top of this case is adorned with the wings of a real butterfly preserved in celluloid to achieve a unique texture. This is a graceful vanity compact with oriental tassels that uses Japanese Inro (pill box) as a motif.