Beauty & Barber
Human beings have been adorning or improving their looks since the creation of time. From the need to remove unwanted body hair to applying facial powders and lipstick to improve one's look, beauty has always played an essential role in fashion and human development. Beauty, hygiene and grooming equipment is a generally neglected area of collecting. We no longer use or manufacture beautiful cut glass silver-topped perfume bottles because they have been replaced by modern packaging. Be that as it may, modern packaging is functional and practical rather than beautiful and useful.
What goes round, comes round and the fashion industry is no exception. We no longer use button-up boots and shoes nor long button-up evening gloves, so buttonhooks that were once an everyday item are now collectable. Shoehorns have stood the test of time and only recently changed their shape to make putting on shoes easier.
The removal of unwanted body hair has happened since the dawn of time and the equipment and techniques have similarly evolved.
Vanity items once adorned the dressing table in a ladies' boudoir in almost every home in the UK. Many of these items were decorated with sterling silver, thus giving an accurate date. Modern living and improved packaging have made many of these items redundant and therefore a fascinating and rewarding area for a collector.
Few art forms combine functional, ceremonial and decorative uses as elegantly as the fan. Fewer can still match such diversity with a history stretching back many thousands of years. Some hot countries still use the handheld fan for cooling purposes, but for most the fan is an item of curiosity and an avid collecting area.
A powder compact was once an indispensable female vanity item that was normally carried in a handbag. These beautiful and attractive items are now rarely used, but avidly collected.