One day when I was wandering around an antique store in Concord, Massachusetts I found the beautiful little jar below. I loved it for two reasons — it was blue and white and it said Boston on it.
I decided to use the jar in the third book of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries , All Murders Final. I wanted to find out more about the jar so I did some research (thank you Google). Boy, was I surprised! There was a jar similar to mine on Etsy and the seller provided a lot of information — you can view the full post here. I had always thought the lid said Counti of Boston with a little extra flourish by the word “Counti”. In reality Countie is the family name of the company that manufactured Magda Toilet Cream. Here’s a picture of the lid:
‘My Grandfather Francis’ two Uncle’s John and Charles started this business in the late 1800’s. They called it MAGDA toilet cream. They were Chemists in the beauty business and developed this wonderful cream. Beacause it was in such demand, Cheeseborough Company, which is now Pond’s bought the formula and called it Pond’s Cold Cream. They used the porcelain jar back in those days because of it’s lower cost. Pond’s Cold Cream
I love my jar even more now that I know it’s history.
August 2020 update:
I was thrilled to hear from Lori Bermani a member of the Countie family today. Here is what she shared with me.
Dear Sherry, A couple of years ago, my Aunt Jeanette Countie gave me one of the original jars that belonged to the Sister of what would have been my great – great Uncle Charles Countie’s formula for his popular face cream MAGDA TOILET CREAM. Here is a little more history,The drugstore on Charles St. in Boston was in the front of Beacon Hill. He created this cream that had enormous popularity at the time, even with American actress Lillian Russell. He sent to China to have these little jars made for the cream. (He later sold the formula to Pond’s) The jar I got is larger and quite wonderful. I notice on eBay at times, people either will sell the cover alone or the whole jar. The original jars are Countie of Boston on the top. MAGDA TOILET CREAM is on one side with C.J. COUNTIE & Co CHEMISTS BOSTON U.S.A under the O in Co it has .. If this jar reads COUNTIE of CHICAGO, it is not the original authentic jar. (like anything nice, it is a duplicate from the original jar). I believe this to be the rest of the history to the story of the wonderful pottery jar called MAGDA TOILET CREAM. My Aunt Jeanette passed away last year and this was a letter of the story that she wrote to me in her own handwriting. Thank you Sherry for keeping the legacy of this jar continuing.. Lori (Countie) Bermani. Boston, Ma. August 2020
It’s fascinating that Lori is a makeup artist and an Esthetician in Massachusetts. Skincare runs in the family.