Welcome!

Please understand that this website is not affiliated with any of the perfume companies written about here in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the classic fragrances of days gone by.

One of the goals of this website is to show the present owners of the various perfumes and cologne brands that are featured here how much we miss the discontinued classics and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back these fragrances!

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the fragrance, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories, what it reminded you of, maybe a relative wore it, or you remembered seeing the bottle on their vanity table), who knows, perhaps someone from the company brand might see it.

Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vintage Filigree Vanity Sets

This guide will introduce you to the world of the 1940s-1960s vanity accessories manufactured by Apollo, Matson, Stylebuilt, Guildcrest, Globe and others.

These items were originally sold in department stores, drug stores and jewelry stores.



The ormolu pieces are in a Rococo style and feature cherubs, birds, butterflies, scrolling, intricate filigree or stylized flowers like roses. In the 1940s and into the 60s, some dresser sets featured a large faceted jewel on the pieces. Sometimes I see dealers incorrectly labeling these items as antique, Victorian, French or Italian. Please understand that these are NOT Victorian, French, Italian or antique!!!!!

I realize that many people do not have the time nor resources to research their items, and some people just wish to remain ignorant when I mention how old their bottle really is. I hope that the people who do take the time to read this guide are able to list their items accurately so their buyers aren't buying something that is misrepresented.

I had written a seller because she had incorrectly said her perfume bottle was "Antique Victorian, French and Italian" all in one title. Her response to me was quite negative and even so much as went to put a response in her listing as she couldn't verify that I was an expert when I said her perfume bottle was no older than the 1940s. As a dealer in antique and vintage perfumes for over 20 years, a past member of the International Perfume Bottle Association, author of over 200 ebay guides on vintage perfumes and vanity sets and appraiser for vintage perfume bottles, I have a lot of knowledge on vintage perfume bottles and dresser sets with many reference books on perfumes and vanity accessories at my disposal. Please feel confident that you are reading the guide of someone who has spent a lot of time researching these vanity pieces and trying to garner as much info as possible to help you.

Often times, original labels and tags are missing from these pieces as they were lovingly used for years. But you can be sure that your piece is one of the manufacturers I have listed below.

These items add a touch of glamour when displayed on a vanity, countertop in your powder rooms or even on your nightstand in a guest bedroom.


Perfume Bottles


Many of the perfume bottles resemble reliquaries and have beveled glass windows and a tiny glass vial inside to hold perfume. The perfume can be applied to the skin with a long glass dauber attached to a very fancy filigreed stopper. The perfume bottles were often sold as a pair. The glass windows are either clear, pink or amber in color. Other perfume bottles are the atomizers, these have plastic siphon tubes inside. And there are other perfumes with pressed glass bases and gilded metal mounts and daubers. You might wish to clean out the old perfume residue with some alcohol. Please note that these are NOT Victorian nor antiques. There are no perfume bottles of the Victorian era that even resemble these over sized gargantuan bottles. Some of these bottles stand as tall as 10" and higher. You might also find a single faceted glass or Lucite jewel in the center of the stopper. Some perfume bottles have plastic behind the filigree that imitates mother of pearl, please note that this is plastic and NOT real mother of pearl.


Jewel Caskets


The jewel caskets generally have beveled glass sides held in by tooth like prongs, the bottoms are lined in either a tan, burgundy, purple or blue velvet. Sometimes the velvet is tufted with little gold tone brads. The glass can be either amber, pink or clear. Sometimes you might find a single faceted glass or Lucite jewel on the lid. The caskets are in many different shapes from oval, rectangular, triangular, round, square and even ball shaped. These are not antiques, I once saw a seller trying to pass off a 1950s signed Matson jewel casket as an "Antique Victorian Mourning Box".


Hand Mirrors, Brushes and Combs

Hand mirrors have beveled glass, combs have Lucite teeth and brushes have nylon bristles. Sometimes you might find a single faceted glass or Lucite jewel on the backs of the mirrors and brushes.Sometimes the backs of brushes or mirrors have mother of pearl looking plastic backings under the filigree, please note that this is plastic and not real mother of pearl.


Trays
Most vanity trays are large enough to hold either the entire vanity set and some are just large enough to hold the pair of perfumes. Many of the trays have a mirror on the base or they might have beveled glass. Each one has an intricate gilded frame and some may be accented with a large faceted glass or Lucite jewel on each end. Some trays have handles and some are footed. You might even come across newer style plateaus.


Pieces you may find:
  • Hand mirrors
  • Adjustable Mirrors on stands
  • Perfume bottles
  • Perfume Atomizers
  • Hair Brushes
  • Combs
  • Large dresser trays
  • Jewel caskets
  • Kleenex covers
  • Hairspray can covers
  • Lipstick holders/caddies
  • Pin trays
  • Clocks
  • Picture frames
  • Powder jars
  • Soap dishes
  • Toothbrush holders
  • Candy dishes
  • Cup holders and cups
  • Vanity trash baskets
  • Compacts
  • Ashtrays
  • Lighters
  • Cigarette boxes
  • Vanity lamps

Major Companies:


Please note that any photos shown and items with attributions have been confirmed either by markings, labels or tags.


Stylebuilt: New York company established in 1940, that specialized in the manufacture of vanity accessories in the 1960s. Most items are of a gold tone or silver tone alloy metal. Stylebuilt often had their pieces plated with 24kt gold and were said to be tarnish proof. The company is still in business today and operates under the name of Stylebuilt Accessories Inc. and is located in New York. Vintage Stylebuilt items may retain their original labels or tags which state the following: “Stylebuilt Accessories, New York, 24K Gold Plated, Guaranteed Not To Tarnish." Other tags or labels might read "Stylebuilt Frame Co."


Matson: Matson Manufacturing Company of 347 FIFTH AVENUE. NEW YORK, NY 10016. Their items were marked © Matson and Matson Import. They manufactured vanity accessories and accessories for the powder room during the 1950s-1960s. Their pieces are often 24kt gold plated and should have a little label or tag attached verifying this. Some of the Matson pieces were washed with "antique white" finish over the brass.Some of the Matson patterns included: Poppy, Rose, Zinnia.

 Information on Matson is next to nothing. Matson was NOT given away to passengers on Matson Line Cruises. For some reason someone has made up this ridiculous rumor to help sell their items and the rumor is spreading! The two companies are NOT related.










Guildcrest: An American company that made dresser sets and boudoir accessories in the 1940s and into the 1950s. These items were 24kt gold plated and pieces were imported from Germany. Birds on branches are a common theme with this company. They also used amber glass for their perfumes and caskets.

Globe: In the 1950s & 60s, the Globe Silver Company manufactured the same type of vanity accessories as Matson and Stylebuilt, in fact their dies are very similar if not the same. They also plated their wares with 24kt gold and some of their pieces were accented with large faceted glass jewels.

Florenza: a costume jewelry manufacturer who started around 1937 as Dan Kasoff Inc, but didn't start marking items with the Florenza name until 1950. They also made a series of gold tone lipstick caddies in the 1950s, some have a antique white finish. Other items include pincushions with red velvet. Florenza items are generally accented with rhinestones or faux pearls. Florenza was in business until 1981.

Yule Mfg Co: a Brooklyn, New York based company that manufactured vanity sets comparable to those by Stylebuilt and Matson. Their tags or pieces are sometimes marked "Guaranteed not to Tarnish". Some of their pieces will be adorned with aurora borealis rhinestones and faux pearls.

Astorloid: This company began making vanity accessories with gold tone filigree in the 1950s and continued production into the 1970s. One of their best lines was called "Lady Fair" and was made up of intricate metal filigree. I often find the dresser tray with the mirror base and filigree sides. The “Astorloid” plastic backings of mirrors, powder jar lids was often combined with silk brocade or embroidered backings. The nylon bristles snapped out of the backs for easy cleaning and the mirrors were protected by copper backings.



SF: .S.F. Co. ~ 5th Ave, which stands for Sam Fink Company, who was very popular during the 1940's-1960's with their rhinestone jewelry and filigree vanity sets and boudoir accessories much like Stylebuilt, Florenza and Matson

Regent of London: manufactured matching vanity sets with petit point inserts, with intricate brass filigree handles and frames. The backings often have an Oriental theme. The embroidered backings are generally covered with a thin clear plastic or vinyl material. The nylon bristles should also snap out for easy cleaning. These are generally found in the United Kingdom and date to the 1940s-1960s.

Apollo Studios: Apollo Studios of New York was a division of Bernard Rice's & Sons and items marked with the Apollo stamp were made from 1909-1922. These pieces are usually marked only with Apollo, sometimes with Apollo Studios NY or Apollo Ovington followed by some mold (style) numbers. In 1872, the Apollo Silver Co. merged with the bankrupt Redfield & Rice Co, forming the Bernard Rice's Sons. Bernard Rice's & Sons went out of business in 1958. Apollo Studios was a contemporary of Tiffany Studios and produced some of the similar type items, like desk sets, humidors and other fine pieces of brass, copper and gilded brass. I have seen sash buckles stamped Apollo.

Apollo Studios was mentioned in advertisements to be manufacturers of hollow ware, boudoir accessories, and gift items in silver plate, gold plate and other metals. Apollo Studios products were sold in the prestigious Ovington's store, The Gift Shop of Fifth Avenue. Ovington sold china, crystal, fine art, silver and gift items aimed at the bridal market. They produced the jewels and hand painted portraits on ivory combinations or sometimes without jewels.




Some pieces with the Apollo name were still being produced in the 1930's and 1960's, these items were not as ornate at the earlier pieces and were usually enameled and had the heavy cast white metal or brass handles. A popular feature on items of this age are a single large faceted glass jewel on the backs of items or on perfume stoppers, or hand painted ivory miniatures under glass and set into filigree. Items with extra long handles date to the 1930's. Some of the later dresser sets were given a wash of white paint over the brass.





In the 1950s, two patterns were introduced: Rose Garland" and "Florentine Floral".









To find marks on Apollo pieces: The hand mirrors and brushes are usually marked on the side of the handles. The boxes will be marked on the bases. The trays will be marked on the sides or bases of the frames. I have never seen a comb marked.



Care and Cleaning Tips:

To keep your pretty vanity items in good condition, be sure to keep them away from moisture. The moisture will loosen the gilding, turn the foil backed stones dark, and spot your mirror. A light dusting with a stiff brush can help you clean them off, I use a little makeup brush to get in between the stones and into the filigree. You can clean this brush in between cleanings to help get rid of the little dusty particles. I used some of my dresser items, notably a powder box, brush, perfume bottle, comb and hand mirror. I didn't have any problems with that. Most of the other items I just displayed.




4 comments:

  1. hi there just wanted to say your information was very helpful and there should be more people out there willing to give this type of information thanks again kylie

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also agree. Thank you for sharing that very useful information.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing your research. Very interesting!! I agree that buyers should be informed in what they are buying and do their own research. Don't trust the seller they could be ignorant about the item or trying to dupe you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. thank you so very much for all of your information...It is very helpful...What I am interested in is repairing the dresser trays. I have a Matson gold dresser tray with2 women on eah side and lots of filigree around the perimeter, some of the pieces bent and finally come off. I have them but would like to know how to have it repaired or where to take it.. I am in the New Jersey area and would like to repair it for sentimental reasons..
    thank you for any help you can give me.. Dorothy R.

    ReplyDelete

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