Ladies compacts emblazoned with the Special Air Service (SAS) logo became an unlikely style trend during the early 1950s, as the trinkets were handed out to military wives.
But the post-war whim proved fleeting, and only a handful of the curios are reckoned to still exist.
And now, one of the estimated 20 that have survived will be going under the hammer at Bervie Auctions in Aberdeenshire.
Rarity could sell for hundreds
The SAS-branded containers are in such short supply, auctioneers believe it could fetch as much as £400.
Dave Smith of Bervie Auctions said: “If I was being conservative in my guess, it could fetch between £150 to £200.
“However it isn’t uncommon for rarities such as this to command much larger fees, in the range of £400.”
Memento unearthed in loft
Stratton, a leading brand in powder compacts, lipstick holders and other devices for cosmetics was commissioned to manufacture the items.
The provenance of this particular compact can be traced back to a family local to the Inverbervie area.
While refraining for commenting too much as they wish to keep their family’s links to the SAS a private matter, they revealed that the compact was discovered while clearing out a loft.
It is understood that the item was gifted during a serviceman’s ball.
Compacts fell out of fashion
With the SAS famed the world over for its efficiency in high-risk operations it wasn’t uncommon for their operatives to receive items related to the organisation.
Compacts themselves remained in production into the 1960s, but with the introduction of plastic containers their popularity waned.
This in part perhaps explains why so few of these SAS compacts are around today, as well as the rigorous selection process recruits have to go through in order to join their ranks.