Powder Compact - Officer's Cap, circa 1914-1918 Object Reg. No: HT 28181

Alternative Name(s): Face Powder

Powder compact based on a military peaked cap. Its original powder puff is missing. It appears to be World War I-era, based on the style of the cap. The compact has no known provenance. It may have been a souvenir sent from a war zone. It would have been a constant reminder of a loved one at war, and a public statement about connections to war.

Compressed powder was developed as early as 1840 by a Mr Prosser of Birmingham, England (Putnam's Home Cyclopedia ...G.P. Putnam & Co, 1852, p.383), although was not popularized until the early 20th century. Other examples of powder compacts in the shape of World War I caps or helmets are known.
Powder compact in shape of officer's cap, hinged. Opens out to reveal a mirror in the lid, and textile lining. The shape of a boomerang and the continent of Australia are in relief on the base of the compact. Tasmania is missing.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 22 mm (Height), 70 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Circular format

More information

Tagged with: world war i 1914-1918, military history, military ornaments, cosmetics
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Civilian Life
Tertiary Classification: souvenirs
Inscriptions: Front, inscribed on badge of cap: "AIF"
Date Made: 1914-1918


Helena Crowley Posted on 28 Apr 2012 6:47 PM
I have one of these, identical except for the badge. Mine seems to have the Australian Light Horse WW1 badge. Compact probably made in bulk and badge to suit attached as needed.

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