Magda Toilet Cream

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.

IMG_2667I 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:

IMG_2669 The Esty site provided this information: One of the Countie family members was kind enough to contact me and offer more information about this beautiful jar. Here’s what she told me:

‘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
IMG_2670
I love my jar even more now that I know it’s history. IMG_2671

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.

  15 comments for “Magda Toilet Cream

  1. Ginger Eilers
    December 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Mine says ” Chicago USA” instead of Boston can you give me some info ?

    • December 22, 2016 at 2:19 am

      That is so interesting! I did a Google search but couldn’t find anything except that at some point they started making the cream in Chicago. Does your jar look like mine?

      • Ginger Eilers
        December 22, 2016 at 2:29 am

        It looks the same,except for the the one side …Not sure how to send you a photo of it.
        This was in my Husband’s Grandmother’s house and is in perfect condition , I’m sure it’s pretty old !

      • John Catarino
        August 28, 2019 at 9:10 pm

        I found the same exact twin today digging for storm sewer in Elizabeth nj I love this piece ,it says
        Magda toilet cream
        C.j counties G ce
        Chemists
        Boston u.s.a
        Missing the lid.
        I love this porcelain piece

      • August 28, 2019 at 9:41 pm

        Amazing!

  2. February 21, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Sherry, The one from Chicago is not authentic, I have seen a few and they never originated out of Chicago and the sayings on the jar are not the same. It is a copy. For more info go to Bing Images and type in Countie of Boston chemists. Lori Countie Bermani

    • February 21, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Lori! I will check out Bing Images!

  3. Mary Field
    November 4, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    I have the same jar. It belonged to my Maternal Grandmother. Interesting to know the story of it, thank you

    • November 4, 2019 at 8:39 pm

      That is so cool that you have your grandmothers!

  4. June 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    I have 2 – Marked as The Magda Co Chemists ,Chicago. USA. One is perfect, the other has a chip and broken lid. They were my Grandmother’s, here in the UK. They must have been sold over here – or maybe brought over during the War ? Had them for years and just felt curious about what seemed to be a luxury jar.?

    • June 29, 2020 at 6:09 pm

      That is so interesting that they say Chicago. The jars are so beautiful!

  5. Jeri Raymo
    August 6, 2020 at 5:14 am

    Was excited to find this little jar today as I have purchased potlids and bases from England online but never found one for cream manufactured in the United States. Mine looks the same as yours pictured except some of my lettering is clearer but the word Boston on the front of the jar doesn’t have the “n”. I enjoyed the history you shared. I’d love to know where the jars were manufactured. Early transferware and my favorite color blue!

    • August 6, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      I wonder where they were manufactured too! They are beautiful little pots and we have a shared love of the color blue!

  6. Emily Materson
    August 6, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Sherry I am in the process of creating an inventory of my things for my daughter and I just brought my little Magda jar to find more out about it. The lid to mine is damaged and has been re-glued. I collect blue and white and it was among a collection of small items. I either bought this at auction or maybe at a flea market. Thrilled to find its history so easily! Thank you

    • August 6, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      I’m so glad I could help. I love blue and white too. I bought mine in an antique store in Concord, Massachusetts.

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