Thursday, February 12, 2015

History's Runway: The Mappin & Webb Vanity Case, 1935

Gold Vanity Case
Mappin and Webb, 1935
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum

By the 1930, the use of snuff had long been out of favor and producers of luxury goods looked for something to replace the elegant gold boxes which had long been a mainstay of their concerns. Though not good for world health, the cigarette case was a natural successor to the snuffbox as smoking was quite the thing. Similarly, vanity cases of gold and other precious metals began to take center stage in the world of opulent accessories. Here we see such a vanity case. These were made for Society ladies as a container for their personal items. This one holds an eyebrow pencil, lipstick and compartments for powder with puffs.

The gold case was made by Mappin and Webb in Sheffield, England in 1935 and is set with cabochon sapphires. 

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