Annette Maddisons love of powder compacts began with her first collecting patch boxes, these were containers for patches which ladies wore to cover the scars left by Small Pox.
As for powder, at home ladies would have a Bakerlite tube with a swans down puff for applying their loose powder, something was needed to enable ladies to travel with their make up. The Powder Compact was born!
Annette’s first compact was one which her father gave to her mother when he returned from Denmark in 1945 after the war. She then talked us through her amazing collection of compacts, made from every conceivable material, metal, leather, plastic and cardboard. They were decorated with engraving, embroidery, watercolour prints and photographs.
Annette has a collection of over 400 compacts ranging from Pound Land to Estee Lauder. She shared the story behind some of them and drew our attention to those that were of particular interest. The engraved compact with a piece of the Royal Gray tartan inside, the Pink Ribbon collection made each year to support breast cancer, the blue hexagonal of Christian Dior, the key design, made by Stratton, often used as a 21st birthday present, the leather BOAC proudly stating that it was made in Great Britain and the commemorative Millennium compact with sparkling diamantes.
The story that interested a lot of us was the day Annette had gone to a car boot sale determined that she was not going to buy anything else, but then finding a small,very dirty ,Estee Lauder heart compact, which was being sold for £5. She eventually bought it for £1 saying it would need £4 worth of cleaning! This turned out to be the first perfume compact that Estee Lauder made in 1984. It generated an invitation to their exhibition as they don’t possess one themselves!
Annette had given us all a wonderful evening, many of us being taken down memory lane.
She was articulate and has a fabulous sense of humour, the most amusing thing was that this attractive witty woman, with her fascinating collection of compacts, has never in fact used them for their intended purpose, but rather had as a young girl used them as a device for seeing handsome boys, behind her!