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Powder bowl

Powder bowl

  • Place of origin:

    Walthamstow (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1930-1939 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Halex Ltd. (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Compression-moulded cellulose acetate

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Powder bowl and lid, part of a dressing table set, green pearlescent cellulose acetate, with amber-coloured cellulose acetate details. The bowl is bulbous, and has a squat shape, it rests on three transluscent amber feet, with a double amber line running around the body at its widest point. The lotus-shaped lid also has amber edging and a button knob.

Place of Origin

Walthamstow (manufactured)


1930-1939 (manufactured)


Halex Ltd. (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Compression-moulded cellulose acetate

Marks and inscriptions



Width: 12.4 cm, Height: 7.6 cm

Object history note

Fred Bulmer, a collector based in Leeds, Yorkshire, offered his collection of ‘plastic antiques’ to the V&A in late 1982. The Museum chose to purchase 59 objects from Bulmer the following year (for acquisition papers see MA/1/B3395). The objects were divided among the Museum’s collections according to object type: Furniture and Woodwork taking 26 objects (W.50 to 75-1983), Metalwork 18 objects (M.49 to 66-1984) and Ceramics and Glass 14 objects (C.41 to 54-1984).

This object would originally have been part of a matching set with a tray, comb, box and mirror.

Descriptive line

Powder bowl; green cellulose acetate; Halex (British Xylonite), 1930s


Cellulose acetate


Compression moulding; Glueing


Plastic; Household objects; Containers

Production Type

Mass produced


Ceramics Collection

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