This photo showcases some of cavewoman's Estee Lauder solid perfume collection. These are highly collectible. You can tell that the late Estee Lauder might have had a fondness for cats.
Mrs. Estée Lauder, fragrance innovator and artist, introduced her first solid perfume compact collection in 1967. Each year for the past 38 years, there has been a new collection of magnificent hand-crafted compacts filled with Estée Lauder solid perfumes. There are over 650 of these miniature works of art to date.
Themes and ideas for compacts begin in the Estée Lauder design department. Inspiration can come from fashion, history, nature or the seasons. Designs for a number of perfume containers came directly from Mrs. Lauder. A shell found on the beach in Florida, a Battersea box and a chatelaine discovered in an antique store, each became models for solid perfume containers.
How the compacts are made:
Estée Lauder Solid Perfume Compacts are hand-crafted by a team of master craftsmen schooled in the fine art of jewelry making. From concept to completion the process takes about three months.
Each compact begins as a solid block of pewter. The modelmaker sculpts the pewter into an exact likeness of the approved design. The inside is hollowed out and the hinge and closure are made. Setting for stones are hand-carved and fine detailing is added. The master takes two to three weeks to produce.
The master is submerged in soft rubber and cured at high temperatures. The moldmaster then carves passageways into the mold to allow molten metal to flow into the cavities.
The mold is then fastened to a centrifugal casting machine. Molten metal heated to 246.1°C is poured into the mold through a funnel until the cavities are filled. The result? Exact reproductions of the original master, known as castings.
Each casting is hand-cleaned and polished with four different buffing wheels, refining the surface to a high luster. Castings are then plated…a three-step process of dipping into copper, nickel and rhodium and/or 22k gold. This ensures that each tiny work of art will retain its durability and glossy finish throughout its lifetime.
Compacts are hand-assembled, enameled and many are hand-set with Austrian crystal stones – sometimes as many as four hundred. Each compact is given the "white glove" test before being filled with sold perfumes.
I love the idea that there is a white glove test.
All the information in this post was directly quoted from an Estee Lauder compact booklet from the Neiman Marcus exhibit called Reflections of Beauty: The Estee Lauder Compact Exhibit.