The goldsmith who made compacts for millions….
Gustav Kiaschek, a Hungarian, founded a workshop in Budapest to hand-make compacts, calling the business KI-GU (after Kiaschek-Gustav). Gustav went on to have three sons, Charles, Paul and George. George emigrated to London in 1939, where he founded his own powder compact company – KIGU of London.
However, with the outbreak of WWII George’s technical knowledge and new factory were needed by the UK government. It wasn’t until peace time that he could start manufacturing compacts on a large scale. Later his brother Paul also joined the firm after the war.
KIGU quickly gained a reputation for quality and innovative design. In 1949, the Royal family bought KIGU compacts at the British Industries Fair. By 1956, KIGU had become the largest British firm specialising in compacts. Over 300 workers were employed across their three UK factories. They manufactured over 600 designs of compacts, powder bowls and trinket boxes. KIGU became a household name, and exported across the world.
KIGU COMPACTS are highly sought after due to their elegant and sophisticated design, and their engineering, with smooth fastenings and high quality mirrors; their bases are beautifully tooled, and as good as the tops! They are always available on my website, often in new and unused condition from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.