Types of Mirror
Compact mirrors are not only convenient, they are also fashion statements. Dating from the early 1900s, compact mirrors have taken on many forms and styles and trends have changed. Initially produced in America, compact mirrors were a way for women to re-apply powder subtly in a time when makeup was not yet widely socially accepted. Jewellers such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and Tiffany & Co started making the earliest forms of clutch bags, often bejewelled, and perfect for carrying a compact along with a few other things.
Compacts were soon prevalent in much of society, with special examples even being used by covert operatives in the CIA. See this image of a modified compact containing coding on the mirror.
Hand mirrors predate the compact, having depictions including them as far back as the 1500s. Hand mirrors are for personal grooming use, and are not typically seen as fashion statements in the same way that compacts tend to follow trends. Hand mirrors have a history of being very ornate, with modern examples being more minimalistic, made of less valuable materials and used less than they have been historically. Today, ornate hand mirrors are not only collectable items, but also valued as art pieces. As they are stored laid flat, with the mirror facing downwards, the backs of hand mirrors are often highly stylised, featuring ornate patterns, or enamel images in some instances.