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Silver Collector Forums

1920's silver enamel compact

A few weeks ago, i bought a very fine 1920’s american silver guilloche enamel compact, in mint condition which still has its original rouge and i mentioned this to another dealer and she said that it would be best to remove the rouge as it would damage the silver by pitting it. Is she right about this? I thought that removing the rouge might de-value the compact?

Rouge is a polish used by jewellers and silversmiths for the final stage of polishing. None should have been left on your compact. Are you sure that it is rouge? If it is just dried excess “normal” silver polish then the answer is yes, it should be removed but it shouldn’t cause pitting.

Oh sorry, i meant rouge make up. I didnt know there was any other type of rouge!

I have no idea whether rouge make-up (sorry I didn’t think of that meaning!) has any sort of corrosive effect on silver, but I can’t imagine that it would do if it’s supposed to go on the face. However I think I would like to remove it, if only to improve the appearance of the compact.

I did want to remove it but wanted another opinion first.
Old rouge’s were very often made up from lead, iron oxide and other ingredients that contained sulphur and mercury so in actual fact, women were covering their faces with toxin’s.