Jane Vanroe on collecting vintage powder compacts and compact mirrors. You can find Jane's designs at www.vanroe.com and on Amazon in the EU & USA
At last! We’ve had delivery of the first run of William Morris powder compacts, specially designed for Stratton by… me! :) Two designs have arrived from the complete Stratton Heritage collection I created back in June. They are beautifully made by the Stratton team and have been coo-ed over by everyone in the Vanroe office!
First the bad news: Stratton was sold to a giftware wholesaler in 2013 so we’ve stopped manufacturing the William Morris Stratton designs like Pimpernel and Eyebright. The new owners import their relaunched Stratton line entirely which doesn’t sit well with my focus on British-made where possible.
The pewter is made by a family firm with 200 years in pewter, the enamel by another family company based in Birmingham, England’s famous Georgian jewellery quarter. I currently only produce compact mirrors, but hope to start making powder compacts in the near future.
But I’m still very proud of the work I did with Stratton, so read on if you’d like the background!
Pimpernel, by Vanroe for Stratton (£42)
Pimpernel is a gilt-plated compact, framing a sample of British-made William Morris “Pimpernel” cotton. Morris designed Pimpernel in 1876. Here the design is reproduced in blues and creams. The cotton is protectively coated, then hand-cut and mounted on a padded base within the compact lid. It is very tactile, and creates a wonderfully opulent, Art Nouveau style compact.
William Morris designed Compton in 1896 as a commission for Compton Hall, Wolverhampton. Again, the British-made cotton is protectively coated, then hand-cut and mounted on a padded base within the compact lid. The swirling florals give this compact a beautiful Arts and Crafts feel.
Stratton itself was established in 1860, and has made exceptional powder compacts since 1923. I wanted my Heritage Collection to be a celebration of this fine tradition, combining heritage techniques, hand-finishing and English design.
Each piece in collection frames a hand-cut sample of William Morris cotton. This is made by a family textile manufacturer in Yorkshire, England, and they have reproduced the prints of designer, William Morris beautifully. The compacts are made in brass using Stratton’s 100 year-old techniques. The Compton and Pimpernal cases are gilt-plated, then double lacquered for a high-gloss finish. Stratton’s quality craftsmanship is guaranteed for one year, but Strattons should last for many, many years more.
Compton and Pimpernel are now available to buy in my shop site, Vanroe. We’ve currently only 12 of each design, so do order soon if you plan to treat someone this Christmas!