1940s Park Lane LSM All-in-One Compact

Park Lane Compact

In a previous post I briefly mentioned that I bought this stunning Park Lane LSM compact from the fabulous Iconic shop in Edinburgh. It has quickly become one of my most prized vintage pieces and I really wanted to show you all just how gorgeous it is.

It is in near perfect condition with only a little bit of damage to the enamel underneath the clip on both sides but then it has been around for about 70 years, so it’s not surprising. But it has been really well looked after with the enamel, which is made to look like walnut, and the gold coloured metal edging hardly having any scratches on them.

Park Lane Compact

The chain mail handle, which just slips over your hand so it swings free on your wrist, is a ever so slightly discoloured but is still completely intact, making this the perfect holdall for dancing the night away with your chosen beau!

Park Lane Compact

On one side is the ‘compact’ sections with a mirror that has hasn’t aged at all and is still very much in one piece, a slot for your lipstick and two lidded sections for powder. The bullet lipstick which is rather scratched on the outside isn’t the original but the owner of Iconic had it lying about and thought it fitted in beautifully. It still has the original lipstick in it, completely unused, which is a lovely bright cherry red, my perfect colour, but I can’t seem to get the little lever at the bottom to budge. I’m going to get some vaseline to rub on it to try and get it moving. If anyone else has any suggestions I’d be very grateful.

Park Lane Compact

The face powder section has the original covering on it which, again, I can’t seem to get out. I’m terrified of damaging it so have just left it where it is. The blusher or rouge, whichever you want to call it, however, has a cute applicator sponge covering it which just lifts off to reveal the almost intact powder underneath. It’s actually not a bad colour, perhaps a little bit too orange for my complexion, but it blends in well.

Park Lane Compact

On the other side you have the cigarette holder which would probably hold about 8 or 10 of todays cigarettes. Again, this has no scratches on the inside and and clip that holds them in place is still really strong and would definitely keep yours safe for the night.

Park Lane Compact

On the lip is a large, super strong money clip and two raised pieces of metal in a horse shoe shape that you can slide something under. I have no idea what these would be for. The only thing I can think of is for holding some sort of calling card or dance card. If anyone has any idea I’d love to know.

Park Lane Compact

The lidded section at the end of the cigarette holder has a little area for matches and a rough textured surface for striking them on. I love this idea of having everything you need in one place, although the young gentleman you were interested in didn’t know. Then you’d have a perfect excuse to approach him and ask for a light!

Park Lane Compact

I’ve done a little bit of research online to see what the markings on both clips all mean and have guessed that it was made sometime in the late 1940s. The Park Lane LSM brand was founded by a German company called L.S. Mayer, a well-respected and prestigious firm who initially produced dry goods when it was founded in 1822. However, by the 1930s it had expanded its lines into leather goods, jewellery and finery which it sold to department stores in North America, Europe and the British colonies.

The Park Lane name came into production just before World War II, however, some time during the 1940s L.S. Mayer moved to England and continued manufacturing in Scotland under the brand name of LSM. This explains why this beautiful compact found its way into an Edinburgh vintage shop! The registration markings say Pat Appl 1858/37, Reg Des 817715, DRGM 1384716 and apparently DRGM is short for Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster (German Reich Registered Design) so the design was definitely in production before they moved to Scotland.

Cate

Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. Lover of all things old, lingerie obsessive, crafter and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.

12 Comments

  1. It’s great when a label helps you date a product so accurately. That compact is just gorgeous, a real treasure.

    I’d try putting a bit of vaseline or lip balm on a lipstick brush and brushing out the old lipstick. (That’s assuming you want to try it on; if you want to get rid of it you’d be brushing for an awfully long time!)

    • Oh, that’s a good idea. I will definitely try that as it looks like my perfect colour.

  2. I have been to that vintage shop in Edinburgh when I was on vacation a couple of years ago. The store is amazing!

    Now onto this post…oh my goodness!! What a find! Simply stunning. I love the history on it as well (that is my favorite part of items like this, the back stories). Good job on having good eyes to find this, little gem.

    Liz 🙂

    • I know, I love the history part too. I would love to know who this belonged to and what they were like. I bet they were really glamorous!

  3. If you’re interested, check out my series of three articles on the history of LSM in the newsletter of the BCCS (British Compact Collectors Society). L.S.Mayer was actually incorporated in London in the 1920s and quickly overtook its German parent company, importing fancy goods from Berlin, Frankfurt & Pforzheim up until WW2, transferring production to London and then Dundee after the war. The ‘Park Lane’ was only one of many vanity designs that the company produced between 1934 and 1939, others had interesting names such as the ‘Burlington’, the ‘Claridge’, and the ‘Ritz’ :-). The ‘Park Lane’ started production in 1937 and was patented in 1938.

    • Wow, thank you for the amazing additional information! It’s always interesting to find out so much about the history of just one piece. Could you provide a link to your articles so I can post it for others to read?

  4. Would love to, but to be fair to the BCCS, as the articles were published in the BCCS newsletter, you’d need to join the society and request the 3 back issues – the url is http://www.compactcollectors.co.uk/about.htm.

    Well worth it, as there’s always loads of interesting pictures and articles about the history of vintage glamour and cosmetics! 🙂 My three articles were about the history of the LSM company, and I plan to write further articles in future about the specific compact and vanity styles it produced up until the 1950s.

  5. hi i have just bought the same all in one compact but a gold coloured one,the two places you were unsure of the spring clip and the two horse shoe pieces i can answer for you,the spring clip is for a book of matches and the horse shoes are for stamps,the one i have still has the demo pieces in place,ie cardboard cigarettes,a demo book of matches and a little card tucked into the horse shoe clips which has written on it for stamps,so i hope this bit of info helps as your info did help me.many thanks neville.

    • That’s great help, thank you! I’m assuming yours is deadstock to find it like that. What a treasure!

  6. I have had one for years as I collected vintage handbags…….was just about to give mine away to someone who collects smoking memoribella ..now thinking again!!

    • Oh yes, don’t give it away! They really are so beautiful and I totally fall in love mine every time I get it out.

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