1950

Science and Technology Compacts

Space, new architecture and music were in the news at this time. Simple designs and motifs (stars, ribbons) appeared, together with new materials (plastic), these shows signs of mass production.

Flying Butterfly

1950sUSABrass

This compact typifies the 1950s when everyone was reaching for the moon and when stars were a common motif. It has a unique disk design with a butterfly fluttering as the delightful music from the music box plays. A fun piece of work appreciated by women who looked to the future with hope and confidence after surviving the post-war troubles.

Civil Defense

1952〜1953USAPlastic

The 1950s marked the end of war. However, the threat of war continued to linger even to the point that nuclear shelters were recommended for each household. In such an era of uncertainty, people took part in “Civil Defense” activities in order to protect their lives. This vanity compact has the initial letters for civil defense, it hands down the atosphere of this era.

Bird In Hand

1952USA

This compact was designed by Salvador Dali, known as the master of surrealism. Pulling out the bird's head reveals lipstick, and opening the wings uncovers the powder. To complete such a magnificent piece, the tail doubles as a pill case. The puff is made of a shocking pink feather, using a color created by Schiaparelli, a fashion designer, and Dali in the 1930s. This compact is shaped like a dove curled up in one's hands, reminding us of the calm, protective feeling we have when we wrap our hands around a bird. This is an astonishing piece of work that symbolizes peace.

Birthday Globe

1950sUKBrass

A compact shaped like a globe which doubles as a music box. It opens along the equator, allowing powder to be stored within. The sprightly melody played by the music box is “Happy Birthday.” A piece of work born from an era when women participated actively throughout the world.

Swiss Deco

1950sSwitzerlandMetal

An exceptional Art Deco compact from Elizabeth Arden that reflects fine Swiss tastes in a dignified combination of gold, silver and red. The hairline finish of the lid's surface shows up in shimmering relief depending on the angle at which the compact is held.

Petie

1955GermanyChrome alloy,Enamel

A very rare and novel compact from the 1950s, when women were drawn to anything out of the ordinary.
Combining as it does a real working camera (left) with a tiny shutter release beside the lens, and a spare film holder, powder compact and lipstick holder (right). All of its parts work with the kind of smooth precision that one would expect of an article made in Germany.

Queen Elizabeth 2

1969〜1970UKBrass,Plastic

This compact was created as one of the gifts related to the Queen Elizabeth 2, and depicts the liner floating on a pure white background. A compact that pays tribute to the Queen Elizabeth 2, an ocean liner built by Cunard in England to succeed the Queen Elizabeth as its flagship. Known as the QE2, the liner, which made its maiden voyage in 1969, owes its much-lauded graceful look to the fact that it was designed to be slender enough to pass through the Panama Canal. It continued to be used for transatlantic crossings and round-the-world cruises right up until its retirement in 2008, and is slated to become a floating hotel in Dubai.

Sight of Paris

1950s〜1960sFrancePlastic,Brass

A compact that shows you at a glance the approximate locations of Paris's hottest tourist spots – the Eiffel Tower, Ile St. Louis, Rue de la Paix, Champs-Élysées, and Montmartre all marked with shining studs, with the Seine running through them, against a very fine backcloth of imitation tortoiseshell. Bringing to mind the sights of Paris, this compact no doubt made an ideal present.

Blue Ribbon

1951USABrass,Enamel

The contrast between the large golden ribbon and royal blue creates an elegant vanity compact. Complex color patterns and the three-dimensional representation give this feminin compact a mature impression. In the 1950s, the ribbon, heart, and star motifs were popular, leading to the creation of many simple but elegant vanity compacts.

Ocean

1950sUSABrass,Enamel,Imitation stone

With colors that remind you of the southern seas, this vanity compact is embedded with blue-green and deep-blue stones. This large carryall compact is as large as a small purse. Inside the vanity compact, there are containers for face powder, rouge for the cheeks, lipstick, coins, and cigarettes. This kind of vanity compacts were common around 1950. Women may have attended a summer party with only this compact for a purse. This vanity compact makes its presence felt.

Flower

1952USABrass

A compact with a simple square design and an oriental flower motif. By using both a matte finish and a polished finish, it emphasizes the delicately carved lines. Despite its size, it is easy to carry due to its thin design.

Brilliant Nouveau

1949〜1952USAMetal,Rhinestones

This Art Nouveau-style silver openwork compact is gorgeously decorated with rhinestones. Although thin and portable, its weight superbly complements its high quality and value. Back in the day, rhinestones were categorized as jewelry, so this compact was taxed in the same way as other gems. Still, that did not discourage women from coveting shiny jewelry and this beautiful compact.

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