If you are the keeper of a craft box, needlework, or tool box, you might be surprised to find a family memory item among your oddments. Pins, hooks, beads, nails and screws are often kept in small containers from your past.
On a FaceBook group recently there was much discussion about tobacco tins, Coronation memorial tins and more. I enjoyed viewing the images which each provoked memories of days gone by.
While sorting some sewing items, I came across this gold hinged tin, containing ceramic, glass and wooden beads from my macramé days in the 1970s. It measures 3 1/2 inches in length.
It is a gold plated cigarette case from the 1960s that belonged to my Mother. Now, a little worse for wear from use, it is tarnished and dented. I was, however thrilled to discover a maker’s mark stamped inside the closing clip:
“Made in England by KIGU.”
An Internet search bought forth a little history of the maker.
Ruby Lane Antiques offers… “KIGU was one of the two British compact premier brands (Stratton being the other). The London business was established in 1939 by a man who was the son and grandson of compact makers in Budapest. KIGU quickly gained a reputation for quality and innovative design. In 1949, members of the Royal family were known to carry KIGU compacts.”
Whereas The Vintage Compact Shop mentions… “The makers described the case as follows ‘The ripple of the silvery engine turned background gleams through the opalescent enamel in the delicate shades of blue, pink or white. (Some are decorated with flower or dolphin enamel motifs.’
…. this range was also described by the manufacturer as ‘modern in conception, is delicately curved and fits snugly into the palm of one’s hand…………….handy in size yet holds 12 full-size cigarettes.’ In the 1960s cigarettes were smaller than they are today and this case is ideal for roll ups or cigarettes or small items of jewellery like earrings, necklaces or slender business cards.”
Vintage Collectables Org. UK suggests….. “Kigu of London is most famously known for its powder compacts. Josef Kiaschek created the very first powder company in his workshop in Budapest, Hungary. He was a master goldsmith. His son named Gustab founded Kigu in Budapest. The name Kigu was derived from the first two letters of his surname and christian name. Kigu were renowned for their high quality in design, innovation and their product during the boom years of Powder Compacts.”
So, who knew? and what to do next…. ? Add the photographs of the folder of family artifacts, tagged with date, maker and owner. Then return the beads, and pop it back into the craft box for another day of reminiscing!