Antique Silver Compact Pendant Mother of Pearl Pansy

Compacts were becoming popular around the turn of the 20th century. However, makeup wasn’t entirely socially acceptable. If a lady ventured into a beauty store, she would try and sneak in through the back. Some boutiques had secret hidden doors for the most important of the clientele. The idea of blending blush onto your cheeks in public was absurd. So, the clever women of the time decided to hide their powders, creams, and rouge in witty ways. Makeup could be found in pendants, like this piece, brooches, pocketbooks, bangles, and even walking sticks. Lipsticks could be found hidden away in the handle of a hairbrush!

This fantastic compact doubles as a locket. Hand crafted and set with a beautiful mother of pearl pansy on the front, this lovely piece is hallmarked as having been made in 1907. The compact contains it’s original downy puff and would have held powder, likely highly scented. The pendant measures 59.8 mm from top to bottom and 49.4 mm across, it’s 10.4 mm thick and weighs 23.6 grams. Open it up and you’ll find a gilded interior and small mirror set into the lid. The compact is hallmarked on the inside with marks showing that it was made in Birmingham, England in 1907, it also has the makers mark of ‘CS & FS’ for the firm of Conelium Desormeaux Saunders & James Francis Hollings Shepherd whose mark was first registered in 1893 and who worked in Birmingham, Chester and London.

The Edwardian era was the beginning of making makeup and compacts culturally acceptable. Even makeup counters were (slowly) being introduced to stores. Women spent hours applying creams to their skin as skin care was the most important aspect of the makeup routine. Rouge for those rosy cheeks, matchsticks for those smoky eyes, eyebrow pencils for that thin brow line, and plotting paper for a light complexion were the mainstays of the era.

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Item ID: CTA23418VA



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