The World of L S Mayer

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The World of L S Mayer The world of L. S. Mayer (1822-1968) - Frankfurt, Pforzheim, Berlin, London and Dundee

Operating as usual

Bomb damage maps and building drainage plans are the order of the day!

Bomb damage maps and building drainage plans are the order of the day!

Where to begin?!

Where to begin?!

Where to begin?!

Work is progressing on a future 3rd edition of the LSM ID Guide Vol.1, covering German deco compacts, vanities, and ciga...
L. S. Mayer ID Guide Vol.1 (2nd Ed. - updated)

Work is progressing on a future 3rd edition of the LSM ID Guide Vol.1, covering German deco compacts, vanities, and cigarette cases.

In the meantime, the hardcover updated 2nd edition is still available to buy online from Blurb (link below). This will help anyone whos interested in starting to collect LSM items, or wants to identify any in their collection

(Copies available at a slightly reduced price to British Compact Collectors Society members at the BCCS annual October convention)

#vintagecollecting #fancygoods #vintagecompact #powdercompact #cigarettecase #vanitycase #partycase #eveningbag #1930sfashion #vintageaccessories #artdecodesign #decocollectibles #livinghistory #lsmayer #lsmlondon #lsmfrankfurt #madeingermany #britishcompactcollectors #lsmayergal

German-made Art Deco powder compacts, cigarette cases and other fancy goods by L. S. Mayer (London) Ltd., 1930-1939. Updated to include identification of German supplier.

Fab visit to Launer London this morning, for a show & tell of LSM Bagcraft bags! More info to follow

Fab visit to Launer London this morning, for a show & tell of LSM Bagcraft bags! More info to follow

Now rebooked for August 2021
Leopoldstadt at Wyndham's Theatre

Now rebooked for August 2021

Book London theatre tickets direct with the box office for Leopoldstadt at Wyndham's Theatre. Best prices across all performances.

Couldnt let the month of Easter 2021 end without cracking some eggshells! .Here is a selection of LSM vanity cases wit...

Couldnt let the month of Easter 2021 end without cracking some eggshells!
Here is a selection of LSM vanity cases with cream crackle enamel finish (an imitation of the more expensive craquelure enamel that was so popular in the Art Deco period):
In the first photo, clockwise from top centre:
1. the Burlington (1938)
2. the Claridge (1938)
3. the Elma with handle (1939)
4. the Gala (1935)
5. the Vanderbilt (1937)
6. the Martini (1938)
7. the Ritz Entouka (c.1938)
8. unnamed triangular prism vanity case (1938)
9. the Chatham with orange galalith bar closure (c.1937-8)
The crackle finish on these cases was also available in black, satin silver, and satin rose gold. Irrespective of their original patent application dates, all of the cases with this decoration appear to have been produced in 1938, before the Gebr羹der Schmidt factory in Idar-Oberstein was diverted to wartime manufacture.

A Tale Of Two Handbags.Pleased to have acquired these 1950s/60s Bagcraft handbags today, collected in person from a love...

A Tale Of Two Handbags
Pleased to have acquired these 1950s/60s Bagcraft handbags today, collected in person from a lovely eBay seller whose mother originally owned them, and kept them in immaculate condition. Apparently she thought the navy one looked like the Queens - and at that time, Bagcraft did have the Royal Warrant for handbags. Ive done my best to re-create a queenly pose with bent elbow!
Will be getting these and other examples ready for a special trip in a couple of weeks time, to visit Launer Handbags, the brand used by Her Majesty ever since Bagcraft was dissolved in late 1967.
Very pleased to have been able to chat with CEO Gerald Bodmer the other day, and arrange a meeting with him to reminisce about Bagcraft, where he got his start in the leathergoods trade. I hope to fill in many of the gaps still remaining in piecing together the story of L.S.Mayer!
#vintagehandbags #vintagecollectibles #vintageglamour #leatherhandbags #1950s #1960s #bagcraftoflondon #vintagebagcraft #ledahandbag #lsmayer #lsmlondon #essexroadislington #royalwarrant #queenelizabeth2 #queenshandbag #madeinbritain #launerlondon

SNAP, CRACKLE & POPEaster 2021 is now over, and it seems to have involved more chocolate mini eggs than usual! Some of t...


Easter 2021 is now over, and it seems to have involved more chocolate mini eggs than usual! Some of them were put to good use in nests made out of Rice Krispies, a now traditional North American treat. The recipe for Rice Krispie Treats as theyre known today was first published back in 1941.

Surprisingly, there may be a 1960s LSM connection. A miniature figural porcelain milk jug in my collection, marked 'LSM FOREIGN', is the spitting image of 'Pop', one of the three Kelloggs Rice Krispies cereal characters, complete with orange military cap. It was made in Japan - identical miniature jugs found online are marked 'Japan' on the base.

Several sellers have suggested a connection of some vintage Japanese figurines, especially these miniatures, to the Rice Krispies characters, Snap, Crackle and Pop. This cant be proven, but is certainly a reasonable suggestion.

Snap, Crackle and Pop have an interesting history. They began life in 1939 as a trio of elderly gnomes, with long noses and big ears. However, in 1949, they were redeveloped by Kelloggs marketing executives into boyish figures, with smaller noses, ears, and hats; and by the mid-1950s, had been reimagined once more as distinctly elf-like characters, with pointed ears as one of their key identifying features. Throughout these transformations, Snap, the problem solver, was usually portrayed with a white bakers hat; Crackle, the jolly one, had a red toque; and Pop, the mischievous one, wore a yellow/orange drum majors cap.

Coincidentally, from the early 1950s into the 1960s, there was a craze for Japanese elf figurines. The companies that made these arent identifiable, although one Etsy seller mentions that a feature of later figurines was an exaggerated smile. The LSM example shares this feature with the other miniature jugs found online, which include one with a white bakers hat, one with a red military cap, one with a light blue toque, but also another with a dark blue policemans helmet.

So the question remains, were any of these intended to represent Snap, Crackle, or Pop? In the meantime, this little pixie remains a sweet Japanese mystery!

#vintagefigurine #vintageporcelain #vintagejapan #japaneseceramics #japaneseporcelain #vintagericekrispies #vintagekelloggs #snapcracklepop #ricekrispietreats #japanesecollectibles #madeinjapan #postwarjapan #vintageelf #vintagepixie #1960s #livinghistory #lsmayer #lsmforeign #lsmlondon

Silbermans Travels - Around The Americas in 140 Days(or Planes 儭, Boats  & Submarines)On the anniversary of the first...

Silbermans Travels - Around The Americas in 140 Days
(or Planes 儭, Boats & Submarines)

On the anniversary of the first Covid lockdown in the UK, a reminder of wartime 80 years ago, when business travel was even more difficult and dangerous. Eighty years ago this week, LSM Managing Director Fred Silberman was sitting in temporary office premises at Wren House, a building located across the street from St. Pauls Cathedral. He was penning the introduction to his second self-published book, 'Jungles and Skyscrapers', which chronicled his recent intrepid travels (and travails) across the Americas (Photo 1). In the intervening three months since his return, the LSM offices and warehouse had been lost in one of the worst bombing raids of the London Blitz (mentioned in a previous post).


Wren House was constructed in 1933, and was later better known as the location of the GPO Telephone Exchange, but was originally a carpet and textile warehouse. No doubt Fred had been able to avail himself of contacts in the trade to secure an office there (Photo 2). In March 1941, France had fallen to the Nazis, but the Americans had yet to enter WWII. Fred noted: " We are living in a rapidly changing kaleidoscopic world. Time marches on, and every day changes the scene of events. Much will have been superseded by the time these lines reach your hands As I write, A.A. guns bark out angrily at the enemy planes buzzing wasp-like overhead. My house is trembling and cracks appear on the ceiling and walls. My own office and warehouse have been levelled to the ground"


'Jungles and Skyscrapers' recounts Fred Silbermans business travels through the USA, Caribbean, South and Central America from late July to early December 1940, initially as part of a month-long sales exhibition in New York City on behalf of the UK Export Committee of the Leathergoods Industry; and latterly to acquire market knowledge and drum up potential business for LSM. He was an accomplished artist, and the book also includes many of his travel sketches - a hand-drawn map, inside the front and back covers of the book, outline his epic five-month journey (Photo 3). Copies of the self-published book were printed in a limited run of 500, and can still occasionally be found for sale with online second-hand booksellers, many of them personally autographed.

Over and above any financial, socio-economic or political commentary, the book is a marvellous insight into the 'golden age' of travel by sea and air - which in the current global pandemic, when all leisure travel is still restricted, makes for a fascinating read. This is interspersed with vivid descriptions of the dangers of travelling during wartime.


After waiting for several weeks, Fred received permission to travel to Liverpool, where he boarded the MV Britannic ocean liner on 20th July 1940 (Photo 4). The ship remained at anchor for several days awaiting a convoy to accompany it. When underway, the ship and four other fast steamships were flanked by destroyers on both sides and a plane overhead. For the entire 9-day voyage there was a complete black-out at night. Fred remarked that "the boat was more crowded than usual, and many mothers and nurses were accompanying evacuee children. Sea captains and ships engineers on their way to the States to take over new ships, engineers to help organise American plane production, diplomats and officials returning to their posts, or to take over new ones, made up the passenger list."


After the August sales exhibition at the Biltmore Hotel, on 10th September 1940 Fred began his flying trip to Latin America. He visited or stopped over (with many short refueling stops inbetween) in: Miami, Florida; Havana, Cuba; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Belem (Para), Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Lima, Peru; Cali, Colombia; Cristobal (Colon), Panama; Guatemala City; Mexico City; and then travelled via Atlanta, Georgia back to New York, arriving at the end of October. Most of the hotels that he stayed at were in the top-end 'luxury' category. Some of them no longer exist, but most of them can be found in vintage postcards and luggage labels on the internet (Photos 5-7).


Fred spent a month at the New York Warwick Hotel before returning to Liverpool on the RMS Samaria, arriving back in London on 9th December 1940 (Photo8). When booking his return sailing home, he chose the Samaria rather than the Western Prince, which was a stroke of luck, as the latter ship was torpedoed by a German submarine on 14th December, with six passengers lost. In a strange coincidence, my grandparents had sailed on the same ship as Fred in the opposite direction, from Liverpool to Halifax, earlier the very same month, in November 1940 - and my six-month-old mother started a new life in Canada thanks to the RMS Samaria.

Of the return sailing home, Fred noted: "There are fewer passengers than in pre-war days At Halifax we take on a batch of naval men and Canadian R.A.F.The passengers are very different from the pre-war Normandie or Queen Mary type all attached to some War or Government work. A Russian diplomat and spouse, fresh from Russia via Japan and the U.S.A. are bound for the London Embassy; a U.S. Naval Attach矇; the Trade Commissioner of the British Pavilion at the World's Fair; a French surgeon, who had been working with the Finnish Army, and is now joining De Gaulles forces; several women returning after having parked their children in America. Our party includes the few surviving officers and crew saved from H.M.S. Jervis Bay, the armed merchant-ship, that had so courageously drawn the fire of [a] German battleship in order to save a convoy Other crews from sunken ships returning for duty; an antique dealer [from Hackney], who has been helping exports by exchanging an English lords curious into dollars."

"One generally wishes for calm seas and blue skies on an ocean trip. Now it is the opposite. The more turbulent the sea, the higher the waves, and the thicker the mist, the safer from submarines and attacking aircraft. Although buffeted about in the rough weather她ur spirits are up. We are asked to carry our life-belts at all times, and during the last few days to keep warmly clothed during the night, in case we should have to abandon the ship匈 keep busy writing up these notes and reminiscences. Wild mountainous November seas rock the boat."


On arriving back on London, Fred remarked: "We arrived at Paddington on scheduled time Blackout Troops And yet it is good to be back home In the moonlight, the houses huddle together, anxious as to what may be their fate this night. Many are pulverised to rubble, or twisted or burnt." The time it took Fred to finish writing his book at Wren House after returning to London meant that it was possible to include his illustration of the bombed London Guildhall on the morning after the terrible night of 29th December (Photo 9).

Fred concluded in the final chapter of his book: "on the whole we are surprised at the paucity of damage, despite three months of incessant air raids. The spirit is wonderful. Friendly, modest, courageous, undaunted. New York may be streamlined, Rio basking in sunlight, Buenos Aires modern, Santiago a scenic wonder, Mexico a treasure trove Give me my London, with all its faults, its ugly climate, its bomb craters, its narrow streets It is the one city where you feel at home."

While this may be true, in these trying times I think it provides some relief to be able to travel vicariously - and when this pandemic over, we could all do with taking a leaf out of Freds book, to 'fly down to Rio!

Still no idea when Ill be able to return, but very pleased to see that the Industriedenkmal Jakob Bengel is reopening! ...

Still no idea when Ill be able to return, but very pleased to see that the Industriedenkmal Jakob Bengel is reopening!

#livinghistory #idaroberstein #gebruederschmidt #lsmayer #lsmfrankfurt #lsmlondon #lsmayergal

Still no idea when Ill be able to return, but very pleased to see that the Industriedenkmal Jakob Bengel is reopening!

#livinghistory #idaroberstein #gebruederschmidt #lsmayer #lsmfrankfurt #lsmlondon #lsmayergal

Have added a comment to another pages post regarding the LSM origin of these 1938 ceramic Disney items:These were made ...

Have added a comment to another pages post regarding the LSM origin of these 1938 ceramic Disney items:

These were made for Maw & Son by the German subsidiary of L.S.Mayer (London) Ltd.. In addition to being marked on the base with a UK Registered Design number, these items when sold would also have had an LSM sticker.

#vintagedisneycollectibles #mawoflondon #smawandson #lsmayer #madeingermany #lsmfrankfurt #lsmlondon

Maw of London...Toothbrush Holders, Bookends & Egg Timers.
Are there any other pieces??
Some publications say Germany, Tags say London.

A Handbag??!!or: The Importance of Being EdithA recent addition to the World of L.S. Mayer collection has a serendipitou...

A Handbag??!!
or: The Importance of Being Edith

A recent addition to the World of L.S. Mayer collection has a serendipitous connection . It is a mid-to-late 1940s cloche-shaped dark brown velvet handbag with brass frame, leather label marked 'Bagcraft of London England', dark brown silk lining and matching coin purse. This would have been manufactured at LSMs Bagcraft factory at Essex Road, Islington. It arrived with a message conveying a prestigious provenance:

"For your interest - this bag was formerly owned by Dame Edith Evans. She was my great aunt - my dads aunt by marriage and she gave the bag to my mum in the 1940s..."

Edith Evans was born in Pimlico, London in 1888. She was perhaps best known for her portrayal of Lady Bracknell in the 1939, 1942 & 1946 theatrical productions, and the 1952 film version, of 'The Importance Of Being Earnest', uttering the now-famous line, "A handbag??!!".

The internet blog 'The Master of Something Im Yet To Discover' recalls a story from an episode of the BBC radio panel game show 'My Word!' in the late 1950s:

"During rehearsals for a production of The Importance of Being Earnest, the director was putting some of the cast through improvisation exercises. Dame Edith was sitting and watching from the stalls. The director asked the actors to imagine they were a tree or some other object and to act accordingly. As the actors went through the exercise, the director suddenly heard peculiar noises coming from the stalls. "Are you all right, Dame Edith?", he enquired. That imperious voice came from out of the darkness. "I am being a HANDBAG.""

The eponymous handbag is eventually revealed to be the central plot device in Oscar Wildes play, after being identified by its owner:

"Is this the handbag, Miss Prism? Examine it carefully before you speak. The happiness of more than one life depends on your answer."

"It seems to be mine. Yes, here is the injury it received through the upsetting of a Gower Street omnibus in younger and happier days. Here is the stain on the lining caused by the explosion of a temperance beverage, an incident that occurred at Leamington. And here, on the lock, are my initials. I had forgotten that in an extravagant mood I had had them placed there. The bag is undoubtedly mine. I am delighted to have it so unexpectedly restored to me"

And I am equally delighted to be the new owner of this handbag with such an unexpectedly illustrious history!



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I have just discovered L S Mayer having looked up this little poodle with LSM Foreign, stamped underneath. Can you tell me more about it? What its function is? How old it is roughly?
Can you tell me anything about this piece. It was made in Germany. It is marked with Ken G. It has a number 1 in side and 1 on the removable back piece. It has an 11 and a mark on the very bottom. It whistles a tune and the head moves back and forth. It is a Karl Greisbaum Whistler. It is a cross country skier. I purchased at an estate sale. It belonged to Everett Kircher I believe who was the founder of Boyne Mtns ski resort in Michigan. I wonder if this piece was commissioned. His family is from Germany from what I can gather from the family bible and other items I purchased.
Hello, I have join this group looking for information involving a Karl Griesbaum Whistler Figurine that I am restoring. As you can see, in the photo attached, next to the Griesbaum trade mark is stamped L S Mayer. The S is slightly larger that the other letters. The Mechanical figure is from the 1920s.......Is this a known L S Mayer trade mark and are their any records of Mayer doing the distribution of Griesbaum; whistler figurine, singing bird cages or signing bird music boxes. Thank You.
Any thoughts on this L S Mayer flask?