Curator's Corner, 9/1/2013
Quick post: vintage compact blog

MM Mailbag: vintage peacock compact

It's rare, but occasionally I do get inquiries from people who have stumbled across a vintage item, asking me to identify it and give an idea of what it might be worth.  Sometimes I can give a definitive answer, sometimes I can't.  Anyway, I thought I'd dig through my inbox and share one of these items with my readers (all 2 of you, ha) from time to time.  Today I bring you a very pretty green and gold filigree vintage compact with a peacock on it that, unfortunately, I'm still not able to identify.  The person who emailed me with these pictures said it belonged to her great-grandmother, who in her words was a "well-situated lady", so she thinks it may be more high-end (Elizabeth Arden or Estée Lauder). 

I have searched everywhere and can't find a compact that had this same peacock on it.


Many other compacts have a similar inner lid mechanism, but that particular clasp and notch seem to be unique.


To my eye, those details most closely resemble Kigu - a London-based company with roots in Budapest.  (You can read Kigu's history here.)  Here are some examples of this brand's compacts:


(images from

I can't say for sure though, without seeing the top of the inner lid and the bottom of the compact - these may provide additional clues.  There's also the matter of what looks to be a little knob on the upper left of the inside of the lid to help keep it closed:


None of the Kigus I've seen have that.  I've also looked through the catalogs and archives at the Kigu website, and there was no peacock compact. 

Since I really can't say for sure what this is, I'll throw it out to you:  does anyone recognize this compact and know for sure the company that made it?  I'm so curious and would love to have an answer!  I suppose I could submit the pictures to Kigu and see if it's one of theirs.


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