Compact Mirrors & Powder Compacts

Jane Vanroe on collecting vintage powder compacts and compact mirrors. You can find Jane's designs at and on Amazon in the EU & USA

Near history

1930s powder compacts, Bankfield Museum

1930s powder compacts, Bankfield Museum

An extraordinary morning with Miriam, Bankfield Museum‘s curator of costumes and textiles. A friend had introduced us, mentioning that Bankfield, my local museum, had compacts in its collections. And Miriam agreed to show me.

So today I walked with William along underground corridors, into the fluorescent-lit storage rooms of the Bankfield collection. And saw racks and racks of stacked, carefully labelled boxes, and canvas bags hanging in rows from ground level to the ceiling. Miriam placed compacts and evening powder bags on a white sheet on the one table in the center room. I made awkward conversation, as I wondered whether she had the best job in Yorkshire and if she’d tackle me if I went renegade and rifled through all those wonderful, wonderful boxes.

Upstairs in the galleries I had another of those happiness moments. Five minutes you could throw all the cliches at and they’d hold water fine. Snow fell outside, I wandered with baby and camera around the fashion archives, then walked into a room like the British Library’s heart-stopping Enlightenment Room, but only ten minutes from my new Halifax home. Then the clock struck William’s lunchtime so Mummy left sharpish.


Victorian costumes

Costume collection, Bankfield Museum

The Bankfield archives

The Bankfield archives

Victorian costume, Bankfield

Victorian costume, Bankfield

One comment on “Near history

  1. mshargreaves
    December 17, 2010

    This made me salivate. I would love to come over for a gallery/museums day in the new year x

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This entry was posted on December 16, 2010 by in my vintage powder compacts.

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