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Compacts hold face powder. A woman did not powder her face in public until after World War I. By 1920, the beauty parlor, permanent waves, and cosmetics had become acceptable. A few companies sold cake face powder in a box with a mirror and a pad or puff. Soon the compact was designed by jewelers and made of gold, silver, and precious materials. Cosmetic companies began to sell powder in attractive compacts of less valuable metal or plastic. Collectors today search for Art Deco designs, famous brands, compacts from World’s Fairs or political events, and unusual examples. Many were made with companion lipsticks and other fittings.

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Mirror In Lid, Powder Puff, Corded Handle, Tassel, 3 1/2 x 4 1/5 In, Illustrated
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Photo Credit: Dick Soulis Auctions

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