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Mignot-Boucher face powder box marked Rachel with an excise label

Object | Accession Number: 2004.237.3

Unused, Germandrée brand face powder with a tax stamp manufactured by Mignot-Boucher in Sofia, Bulgaria, between 1916 and 1943. Mignot-Boucher was a French company founded in 1818, and bought in 1916, by the Jewish Bulgarian Arié family. The company became a driving economic force, growing the family’s prestige and wealth as it improved the nation’s manufacturing power. In 1941, Bulgaria joined the Axis alliance and increased the systematic persecution of Jews, including an official boycott of Jewish goods. In 1943, the owners of the company were arrested under the pretense of stealing from the state. The arrest was driven by anti-Semitism, and once they were hanged for their false crimes the company passed into Bulgarian control. The powder color, Rachel, is stamped on the bottom and likely references Eliza Rachel Felix (1821- 1858), a popular Jewish, French stage actress from the mid-1800s who performed under the stage name Rachel. At the time, most proper woman did not wear cosmetics, but it was common practice for actresses. Mass produced cosmetics were typically powder based and came in 3 colors, rose, white, and a darker crème color. 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, theatrical cosmetics became popular and were used by respectable women in all parts of society. During the first half of the 1900s, Rachel was maintained as a color and eventually expanded to include a range of associated shades.

manufacture:  1916-1943
manufacture: Sofia (Bulgaria)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Barbara Rein
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:55:40
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