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Regina face powder box with a crown design marked Rachel

Object | Accession Number: 2004.237.2

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    Regina face powder box with a crown design marked Rachel


    Brief Narrative
    Unused, Regina brand face powder with an art deco design and crown logo on the lid manufactured by K. A. Chavdarov in Sofia, Bulgaria, in approximately 1940. The powder color, Rachel, is stamped on the bottom in purple ink and references Eliza Rachel Felix (1821- 1858), a popular Jewish, French stage actress from the mid-1800s. She performed under the stage name Rachel, was well-known in Europe, Russia, and the United States 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 1940
    manufacture: Sofia (Bulgaria)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Barbara Rein
    lid exterior, top, logo, printed, orange ink : РЕГИНА [REGINA]
    lid exterior, lower sides, printed, black ink : ЛУКСОЗНА ПУДРА РЕГИНА [LUXURY POWDER REGINA SELECT]
    base exterior, bottom, around the rim, printed gold ink : ЛУКСОЗНА ТОАЛЕТН ПУДРА – РЕГИНА – К.А. ЧАВДАРОВЪ - СОФИЯ – РЕГИНА - [LUXURY TOILET POWDER – SELECT - REGINA – K. A. CHAVDAROV – SOFIA – REGINA]
    base exterior, bottom, upper center, printed, black and red ink : ЛУКСОЗНА / ПУДРА / РЕГИНА (logo) / ЦВеТъ [LUXURY / POWDER / REGINA (logo) / COLOR]
    Manufacturer: K. A. Chavdarov
    Subject: Rachel Felix
    Eliza Rachel Félix was born on February 28, 1821, near Mumpf in the Swiss canton of Aargau, to Jacques and Thérèse-Esther-Chaya Félix. Her parents were itinerant Jewish peddlers of second-hand clothing. Eliza had 5 siblings: Sophie-Sarah, Raphaël, Rébecca, Adelaïde-Lia, and Mélanie-Dinah. The family lived in a wagon that also doubled as a storehouse for their goods. While performing on the streets of Lyon, France, Eliza Rachel and Sophie-Sarah were discovered by Etienne Choron, a Parisian musician and educator. He invited the girls to attend his school for musical and theatrical training, so their family settled in the Jewish quarter of Paris in 1831. During the 1830s, Eliza Rachel continued to receive private training as an actress and in 1838, she debuted at the Comédie Française under the name Rachel. Her performance was met with critical acclaim that praised her talent, technique, and passion as an actress. Her career grew steadily and focused on her skills at portraying classical French, historical, and patriotic characters. During the 1840s and early 1850s Rachel toured all over Europe, traveling from Great Britain to Moscow, Russia. In 1855 she went as far as the United States. She was widely known for her talent, but also for her grace and distinctive beauty. She was very close with her family, and supported the acting careers of her sisters. At different points in her career, both her father and brother served as her manager. She never married, but was known for having affairs with prominent and powerful men, and bore two illegitimate sons. She remained a member of the Jewish faith, but had her children baptized as Christians. On January 4, 1858, Rachel, aged 36, died of tuberculosis in Le Cannet, France. The Chief Rabbi of France, Lazard Isidor, presided over her funeral and she was buried in Paris.

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    Circular, telescoping, cardboard box with a slightly domed lid. It is covered with paper. The design on top features an inverted white triangle dividing the circle into 3 sections; orange at the bottom and white at the top. Within the triangle is the logo of a gold crown above a black rectangle with Bulgarian Cyrillic text. There are gold colored borders on the slightly protruding upper and lower rims. Around the sides is a thick band of white, gold, and orange rectangles above a gold colored band printed with black Bulgarian Cyrillic text. Adhered to the base underside is circular, white paper label with a black floral border and a ring of Bulgarian Cyrillic text. At the center is the logo with a red crown, Bulgarian Cyrillic text, and a purple stamp. The box interior has a sealed powder drum and powder.
    overall: Height: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm) | Diameter: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm)
    overall : cardboard, paper, ink, adhesive, powder
    base exterior, bottom, lower center, stamped, purple ink : Rachel I [partially legible]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The face powder container was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Barbara Rein.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-08-17 12:13:13
    This page:

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