1950s/1960s Powder Compact and Lipstick Holder Set by Stratton
We were so pleased to find this Stratton powder compact and matching lipstick holder still in the original gift box, with both items unused! They also feature one of Stratton's most recognisable decorative designs of the 1950s and 1960s, picturing Mallard ducks in flight against a translucent blue background. The compact itself is a type produced by Stratton between the middle of the 1950s and the late 1970s, and known as the 'Convertible'. It features a round, goldtone metal case with a deep body - the latter element allowed the compact to hold either loose powder, or a pan of solid, pressed powder, hence the term 'Convertible'. We are able to date this particular compact to c1955 to c1965, due to the pattern of stars displayed on its base; from around the mid-1960s, the pattern changed to show the Stratton name in addition to the stars.
Pushing the catch at the front of the compact reveals an interior with a hinged, inner ring, and a round mirror; the mirror frame reveals the words 'Stratton Made in England Patent Applied', whilst the patent number 764125 (dating to 1956) is also displayed nearby. The open-centred, metal ring is lifted via a catch at its right side, and the powder well contains a fabric-edged sifter, for use with loose powder. A soft powder puff rests over the metal ring; we have seen this type of puff refered to in Stratton advertisements as a 'luxury' version, and its thicker shape helped to contain loose powder within the powder well. The fabric top of the puff is marked with the words 'Stratton Made in England'. Additionally, there is a white circular pad at the base of the powder well; we have occasionally come across this item in other Stratton compacts of the same period, and have seen it referred to as an 'insert'. We understand the 'insert' was removed from the compact if loose powder was being used, and was replaced when a pan of pressed powder was preferred.
The other item contained within the gift box is a 'Stratton Lipstick Holder', which features a decorated metal top section, and a goldtone metal base which bears the inscription 'Stratton No 2 Made in England'. The lipstick holder dates to a time when lipstick refills could be bought and inserted into cases such as this - needless to say, the move to 'throwaway' plastic lipstick cases during the 1960s made this system redundant. Nowdays, a refillable lipstick case fits into the category of being an item of interest, rather than being of practical use. As mentioned earlier, both the compact and lipstick holder are decorated with the Mallard design, set against a shimmering blue background. The latter is a distinctive feature of Stratton's waterbird range from the 1950s/60s, and it gives changing effects and variety of colour intensity, as the compact catches the light.
The gift box which contains these items displays a white and gold-coloured pattern on its exterior - inside, the lid reveals the Stratton name on a golden background. Both the compact and lipstick holder fit into purpose-made spaces within the base, which has been covered with white, satiny fabric. The design of the box allows it to stand open and reveal the contents, and we can imagine it forming part of a shop display. The final accessories in the box are the pochettes, which are made from black felt fabric, and which protected the compact and lipstick holder inside a handbag.
Country of manufacture:
Product ref: C139
Excellent Plus. This impressive Stratton set has survived in highly desirable condition, with both items appearing not to have been used. The goldtone metal which forms the compact is bright and shining, and shows no scratches, scuffs or discolouration. The lid decoration is intact, with the colourful duck design being crisp and unfaded - the blue background has a glossy and unscratched finish. The interior of the compact is also in very appealing condition; the mirror shows minimal sign of its age, and the metalwork is gleaming. The powder puff, sifter and white 'insert' all have a pristine appearance. The inner and outer catches shut tightly and securely. The lipstick holder is as attractive and well preserved as the compact; the top casing fits neatly and securely over the base, and the Mallard design is undamaged. Both the fabric pochettes are robust and reveal little sign of use. The box remains sturdy, with the white interior fabric displaying a bright and glossy finish. Unsurprisingly, the white patterned paper on the exterior of the box shows some superficial discolouration and light wear along the edges, but we feel this is a minor fault - overall, the box has stood the test of time well, and it has successfully protected its contents over the years. We think this set has strong appeal, due to the unused and boxed condition of the compact and lipstick holder, and for their eyecatching and recognisable Stratton decoration!
Material: Goldtone metal
Measurements: Compact - diameter 80mm. Lipstick holder - diameter 18mm x height 55mm. Box - h:127mm x w:144mm