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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.