Historical Information About The Pygmalion Brand

Historical Information About The Pygmalion Brand

Research carried out by powder compact specialist Juliette Edwards reveals that the Pygmalion name was owned by British company S. D. Rand Ltd., which was based in London. The name was registered 'for cosmetic boxes' by Salo David Rand in 1942. S. D. Rand Ltd was incorporated in 1949. Advertisements featuring Pygmalion products appear to cease in the mid 1950s, making it a very short-lived company. Whilst Rand applied for patents covering various well-known Pygmalion compacts, the company's focus was on designing, importing and selling compacts, rather than manufacturing them.


                    1950s Pygmalion Globe Loose Powder Compact

The 'Globe' is included in a Pygmalion/Rand advertisement of February 1951 which was headlined 'Latest Pygmalion Creations'. Others in this series featured various patterns on their metal exteriors. An impressed map of the world makes this an intriguing vanity. In 1949 Kigu Ltd. manufactured a small number of sterling silver globe loose powder compacts. The interior powder well was stamped ' "PYGMALION" No 1960 MADE IN ENGLAND PATENT PENDING.'

Mr Rand purchased part finished vanities mostly from England but also from Germany too. Kigu Ltd. manufactured globe and basket shaped compacts for Mr. Rand. The owners of Kigu Ltd. liked these vanities so much that they began making their own globe and basket compacts. Their basket compacts were named 'Bouquet'.

This London based firm was not in business for long. It is known they were finishing & selling compacts in the 1940s & 1950s. In the 1950s they regularly bought novelty compacts made by the owners of Mascot compacts, A. S. Brown & Co. Ltd.

In the 1950s the most well known of these being the highly collectible novelty powder compacts in the shape of a handbag or suitcase.

S.D. Rand Limited was registered on 25 March 1949 of Regent Street, London but is now dissolved under Company Number 00466244.

                                          Pygmalion Basket Compact 

This charming Pygmalion novelty basket loose powder compact has not been used. Under a Lucite dome on a background of emerald green glitter foil sit delightful silk flowers.The exterior case is deep gold and decorated with the most gorgeous and complex engine turned design.

          A Functional Handle & Engraved To Resemble A Wicker Basket.

Just adorable! The lacquer applied during the manufacturing process gives the brass a protective layer which ensures durability.

                        Original Card Edged Sifter & Fabric Puff

The puff has a salmon pink felt top and a pale pink sash. The sifter is the card edged type where mesh is sewn onto card to to make it rigid to form a snug fit in the powder well. It is neatly sewn with clean cream silk thread which also holds the cream silk tab in place. Measures 2 1/4 " and weighs 68.4 grams.  

Not all Pygmalion brand vanities were classed as novelty items. Below is a loose powder compact with a traditional scene from country life. 


The Pygmalion 'Beauty Mirror' was similar in construction to a powder compact lid, except that a handle on a hinge would unfold. On some models the handles were made from an ivory substitute known as ivorine, also known as 'French ivory'. Pygmalion perfume atomizers were also sold in the 1950s. They are stamped 'PYGMALION FOREIGN'. Some of the atomizers were made to resemble cigarette lighters.  It is believed that some Pygmalion brand accessories were made in Germany, possibly by the makers of the Emrich brand.