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Ideal face powder box with a cockatoo design marked Rachel

Object | Accession Number: 2004.237.1

Unused, Ideal brand face powder with a cockatoo on the lid manufactured in the large Nikola Chilova chemical plant in Kostinbrod, Bulgaria, between the 1920s and the 1940s. The powder color, Rachel, is stamped on the bottom and references Eliza Rachel Felix (1821- 1858), a popular Jewish, French stage actress from the mid-1800s. She performed under the stage name Rachel and was well-known as a beautiful, talented, and graceful performer. At the time, most proper woman did not wear cosmetics, but it was common practice for actresses, especially as stages were becoming better lit and their faces were more visible. Mass produced cosmetics were typically powder based and came in 3 colors, rose, white, and a darker crème color often associated with brunettes with dark coloring. This was likely the color used by the dark haired Rachel, and her name quickly became synonymous with the creamier powder color. At the end of the 1800s and into the 1900s, greasepaint with a numbered color system came to dominate stage cosmetics, while the older powder-based varieties and their original names became quite popular and were used by respectable women in all parts of society. During the first half of the 1900s, the spelling of Rachel began to vary, but was maintained as a color and eventually expanded to include a range of associated shades, with the number of tints peaking in the 1950s.

manufacture:  approximately 1920-approximately 1949
manufacture: Kostinbrod (Bulgaria)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Barbara Rein
Record last modified: 2022-08-17 11:27:43
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