Roselyn Gerson, affectionately referred to as "The Compact Lady" by compact collectors and dealers, is the founder of the Compact Collectors Club and editor and publisher of the newsletter, Powder Puff. The newsletter is published quarterly. There is also an annual convention where collectors gather to show and sell compacts, attend a compact auction and listen to a guest speaker!
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The 21st annual compact collectors convention was held at the LaGuardia Airport Hampton Inn in New York on June 21-23, 2013.
With the increasing popularity and interest in collecting compacts and vanity items, the convention was a great event as always! Collectors from all over the US gathered to share their collections and information with everyone.
A Friday night auction with compactQT Debbie Matheney as auctioneer was a lively event! Auction proceeds of $6,000 was donated to Leukemia research.
On Saturday, a Sell, Swap and Shop day offered every compact of our dreams for purchase!! The Volupte hands, bracelets, fans, celluloid vanities and the best enamels ever seen were available to drool over and purchase!! In addition, photos and treasures from past events were on hand, amazing that collectors have been getting together for 21 years to share our love for compacts and related collectibles!
Following a Saturday night sit down dinner, guest speakers from Estee Lauder introduced their new powder and perfume compacts for 2013.
A convention highlight was the introduction of "The Roz" compact! Compact collectors Ardene Toney and Karen Smith came up with an idea to honor Roz and helped Estee Lauder design a special compact named for her! Only 100 of these compacts were made. The art deco pressed powder compact features a woman holding her compact in an enamel design, decorated with Swarovski crystals.
It's not often that Roz is caught off guard, and the look on her face when she was honored with "The Roz," was priceless!
A special "Breakfast at Bergdorfs" was held Sunday morning at the iconic Bergdorf Goodman store on Fifth Avenue. Hosted by Estee Lauder and Bergdorf Goodman, collectors were able to view the Estee Lauder vintage powder and perfume compacts from their museum. After breakfast the 2013 Estee powder and perfume compacts were on display to view and purchase before they were shipped to other retailers!
On Sunday afternoon compact collector Evy Mayer opened her New York home to attendees. Her "house of collectibles" was amazing and what a treat it was for collectors to view and admire her compact and vanity collections!
A silent auction and fifty-fifty chance fund raiser was also organized by Ardene, Karen and mom Mary. Their efforts helped raise additional funds for Leukemia research.
As always, it was a pleasure to visit with our gracious hosts, Roz and Alvin Gerson. It's a given that Roz has been adding to her collection and her excitement over her latest additions was contagious!
To learn more about the convention or to join the compact collectors club, contact Roz Gerson at: P.O. Box 40, Lynbrook, NY 11563. Email: email@example.com
*************************************************The International Perfume Bottle Association held their 25th annual convention in Las Vegas May 1-5, 2013. Compacts and vanity items were for sale in the exhibitor hall along with fabulous perfume bottles! Click here to view the IPBA website for more information on the convention.
Plan now to attend the 26th convention of the International Perfume Bottle Association in Pittsburgh, PA! The IPBA Board is already hard at work to make the 2014 annual convention as memorable as the Las Vegas event! Great presentations, round table discussions, annual auction and phenomenal displays from dealers in the exhibitor hall will offer the best perfume bottles, compacts and related vanity items to drool over and purchase. Shopping in the exhibitor hall will take your breath away, I guarantee it!
or click here to visit
their website at: http://www.compactcollectors.co.uk/
email : Sales@strattonofmayfair.com
The following books on compacts are a great reference for collectors and all have great photographs!
1) Ladies' Compacts of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, by Roselyn Gerson (1989 from Collector Books)
2) Vintage Vanity Bags & Purses, by Roselyn Gerson (1994 from Collector Books)
3) Vintage Ladies' Compacts, by Roselyn Gerson (1996 from Collector Books)
4) Vintage & Contemporary Purse Accessories, by Roselyn Gerson (1997 from Collector Books)
5) Vintage Ladies' Compacts, Second Edition, by Roselyn Gerson (2001 from Collector Books)
6) The Estee Lauder Solid Perfume Compact Collection 1967-2001, by Roselyn Gerson (2002 From Collector Books)
7) Vintage Compacts & Beauty Accessories, by Lynell Schwartz (1997 from Schiffer Publishing)
8) Compacts and Smoking Accessories, by Roseann Ettinger (1991 from Schiffer Publishing)
9) Collector's Encyclopedia of Compacts Carryalls & Face Powder Boxes, by Laura M. Mueller (1994 from Collector Books)
10) Collector's Encyclopedia of Compacts Carryalls & Face Powder Boxes (Volume II), by Laura M. Mueller (1997 from Collector Books)
11) Compacts & Vanity Cases, by Laura M. Mueller (2008 from Collector Books)
12) Powder Compacts: A Collector's Guide (Miller's Collector's Guides, 2000), by Juliette Edwards
13) The Art of Allure: Powder Compacts of the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries,
by Noelle Soren (2004)
Laura Jean Allen: She was a noted illustrator and author of children’s books. Some of her illustrations featuring teenager scenes were used on a series of compacts by Rex Fifth Avenue in the 1950s.
Popular Compact Companies
Bliss Brothers: BBCo., Attleboro, MA. The mark was usually a small "B" and "Co." within a larger "B."
Bourjois, Inc.: A. Bourjois & Co., Inc., NY. They made the Evening in Paris vanity items.
Briggs: Maker of nice quality compacts in the 1920-30s, Attleboro, MA. Marked DFBCo.
Clarice Jane: A compact trademark of Elgin American and the Illinois Watch Co.
Coty: A perfume and cosmetic company from New York.
Divine: A trademark found in tiny glove compacts with decorative lids, often done in silhouette.
Djer-Kiss Kerkoff: A trademark of Kerkoff, a Parisian cosmetics firm. Their most famous design is the silver “kissing fairies” compact.
Dorothy Gray: A NY cosmetic firm that flourished in the 1950s-60s.
Elgin American Manufacturing: EAM Co., Elgin IL. Elginite was a trademark for their white metal cases. They made great deco compacts.
Evans: The Evans Case Company from Attleboro, MA was one of the most prolific producers of high quality compacts and carryalls, as well as cigarette lighters and cases, costume jewelry and handbags. Along with Volupte, this company dominated the carryall market in the 1940s and 1950s. Mayfair was a trademark of the Evans company.
Finberg Mfg. Co.: Attleboro, MA. Makers of good quality guilloche enamel compacts in the 1930s. Signed FMCo.
Fisher: The J. M. Fisher Company, one of the oldest established jewelry firms in Attleboro, MA, was formed by John Melatiah Fisher and Charles R Harris in 1879. In the 1920-30s it was noted for its stylish and colorful compacts with unusual shapes and original, often abstract designs. The compacts are rarely marked but can be identified by their shapes, their one-link chains and the fragility of their brightly colored enamels. Ironically, the poor quality of the enamel means that few survive in top condition. They are very collectible.
Paul Flato: He was a famous jewelry designer who catered to the stars of Hollywood from his shop on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. In the 1920s and 30s he also had shops in Beverly Hills and New York. He designed high quality compacts, usually in sturdy cases with matching lipsticks. Many of Flato’s designs had whimsical detail and they are all known for their high quality.
Theodore W. Foster & Brothers Co.: Providence, RI. They made great sterling and guilloche tango compacts in the 1920s. Signed F&BCo.
Girey: An American company known especially for its “karma-pac” compacts made to resemble small cameras. They often included powder, rouge and lipsticks.
Gwenda: An English company noted for foil back scenes resembling butterfly wing.
Henriette: A New York company noted for novelty compacts such as military hats and ball-shaped compacts.
Annette Honeywell: A noted artist and designer in the mid-20th century. She created a series of designs with images such as a bullfighter, oriental dancer and a child on a merry-go-round among others. Her designs were used for a series of zippered compacts with the Lady Vanity trademark.
Houbigant: A perfume and cosmetics company founded by Jean Francois Houbigant in Paris in the late 1800s. Compacts featuring Houbigant’s flower basket logo and vanities with abstract deco designs are very collectible.
Houpette: A French trademark noted for the telescoping Pli compacts.
Richard Hudnut: A cosmetic firm of New York, they were known for the DuBarry, Deauville and Debut deco compacts. He began his cosmetic career in 1903. His company became one of the foremost cosmetic companies in the US.
Italian compacts were ornately engraved silver compacts that often came with matching lipsticks and combs. They usually had hand painted enamel scenes of couples in countryside settings. These scenes were often taken from 18th and 19th century paintings. Marked 800 for the silver content or “Made in Italy," they became very popular after WWII when the compacts were exported to France and the United States. Department stores like Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Saks and Neiman Marcus sold them. They are very collectible today. Visit Noelle Soren's website at: http://davidandnoelle.net for a great history of these compacts.
Kigu: An English company that made compacts until the 1950s.
Marathon: Makers of nice quality deco compacts in the 1930s from Attleboro, MA.
Mondaine: A trademark found on novelty vanities that resemble small books. Some also have cigarette compartments and are called Cig-Vanettes. Mondaine was also known for flat rectangular vanities with rope handles and round compacts with small lipstick compartments in their lids.
Parker Pen-Wadsworth: They were the maker of novelty compacts like the Ball and Chain and the Hot Air Balloon.
Plate: House of Plate, Detroit, MI. Makers of the Trioette vanity in the 1940s.
Princess Pat: Princess Pat Ltd., Chicago, IL. Makers of the Vaniteen and small rouge and powder compacts.
Pygmalion: An English company noted for their novelty compacts, such as the Sonata piano compact and the globe.
Rex Fifth Avenue: A New York company and maker of compacts in the 1950s. This company later joined with Dorset, to become Dorset-Rex in 1951. Zell, Rex, Dorset and Columbia all had “Fifth Avenue” added to their names and so they are often called “the Fifth Avenues”. They all made moderately priced compacts.
Ripley & Gowan Co.: Attleboro, MA. Established in 1874. They marketed compacts and jewelry in the names of R&G, R&G Co., LaMode, and the R&G letters within a padlock. Their earliest compacts date from the late 1920s. They made top quality guilloche enamel compacts.
Schuco: A German toy company that manufactured teddy bears and other plush toys between the World Wars. They made several collectible compacts and perfumes in the forms of plush bears and monkeys. Very collectible.
Stratton: A company founded in 1860 in Birmingham, England and one of the manufacturers of fine British compacts. They are still making compacts today.
Hilda Terry: She was a well-known cartoonist and artist who created the character “Teena”, the quintessential teenage girl of the 1940s-1960s. Her cartoon strip was syndicated in newspapers from 1941 through 1966 in the US. Several of her cartoon scenes appeared in popular magazines and on Rex compacts during this period. The artist was also a teacher and taught at the New York School for Social Research in New York and the Phoenix School of Art and Design in Phoenix.
Thomae Co.: The Thomae Co., Attleboro, MA, made top quality sterling guilloche enamel compacts in the 1920.
Vashe: A maker of small fashionable compacts in the 1930s and 40s.
Volupte: A New York company that along with Evans, dominated the carryall market in the 1940s and 1950s. They also made some very collectible figural compacts such as the hand compact series.
Wadsworth: The Wadsworth Watch case Co., Dayton, KY was established in 1890 as a maker of gold filled watch cases. In the 1940s and 1950s they also manufactured nice quality compacts. They were eventually purchased by Parker Pen Co. and became Parker Pen Wadsworth.
Zell: Zell Fifth Avenue, one of the Fifth Avenue compact companies
along with Rex, Columbia and Dorset.