Friday, March 29, 2013

Japanese Shipping Line Journals

Cover designs for the monthly travel magazine The Sea, published in Japan for the shipping line Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK), a rival of the NYK Lines. Most of these colorful cover designs are from the late 1930s and early 40s. The OSK was a very popular shipping line for many years, offering luxury round-the-world service for well-heeled passengers. After Pearl Harbor, much of the fleet was either requisitioned for the war effort or destroyed during WWII. In 1964 OSK merged with the Mitsui Steamship Co. to form the Mitsui OSK Lines which is still in operation today.
::Available from the Boston Book Company.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Treasures

Front and back (above) of 1950s Fortnum & Mason's Easter catalogs. All of the works seen here were from the brilliant mind of UK artist Edward Bawden (1903-1989).
1955 Fortnum & Mason chicken-shaped catalog.

A "Dumpty Duo" front and back from Entertaining A La Carte by Edward Bawden for Fortnum & Mason.

Linocut illustration for the Fortnum & Mason 1958 Easter catalog. As the card is pulled from the die-cut "chicken coop" sleeve, the chicken eggs are hatched.  
Another F&M eggceptional 1950s catalog.
:: Fabulous Flickr finds from TM114, with eggception to the "chicken coop" catalog above which is from Bedford Gallery via Kotomicreations.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

19th Century Alphabet Portfolio

A portfolio of late Victorian alphabets and monograms containing a set of 30 lithograph cards published by Friedr. Bartholomaus of Frankfurt Germany. The front cover is a chromolithograph print and this sweet 5x7" portfolio still has the original red ribbons to tie it together. And it too, can be yours for a price.
::Available from Wayside Mews via Antiques Atlas.   

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hmmm...Eye Candy

Some very appetizing candy and chocolate wrappers from Estonia. Hmmm.
::Via eBay dealer rmolchanov

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Free Wheeling Alphabet

The Roues Libres alphabet from the inventive mind of French illustrator Nicolas André. His cycle alphabet was produced as a three color silkscreened accordion book and animation. See more of André's imaginative books including this favorite pop-up in a paper sardine can.   

Monday, March 18, 2013

Where There's Smoke

With the rise of cigarette smoking in the early half of the 20th century, and the appearance of increasingly nice cigarette packaging design such as the Player's box above, a new folk art craft quickly evolved. The practice of folding paper objects and artworks from tobacco packaging became a favorite pastime as smoking products were more widely distributedOver time the paper artworks became more complex, and the increase of functional objects, such as purses, toys, vases and frames began to appear. With exception to some of the great early packaging design, I suspect this folk art tradition was possibly the only positive consequence that developed from tobacco use. 

Here is a fine example of a decorative wall piece made from at least 25 Player's cigarette boxes. It's estimated to be mid-20th century, and measures about 6.5 inches in diameter. For a view of similar examples of these elaborate decorative works made from cigarette boxes, visit The Puzzle Museum's Hordern-Dalgety Collection.
     One of the
most beautiful and paradoxical influences of this paper-folding practice evolved in the Japanese internment camps
 during WWII. Origami was a favored pastime for many of the internment camp detainees who relied on their paper-folding skills to create innovative structures from cigarette wrappers such as the small umbrellas. With the addition of toothpicks, string, chopsticks, and a great deal of time, they could fashion a small umbrella to be used as a gift or a toy for a child. The miniature umbrella below was made by a Japanese internee living in the Tule Lake internment camp in California. It is remarkable not only for the craftsmanship and the condition, but also for the beautiful spiral pattern created by the letters on the wrappers. You can read more about the history of this particular origami work of art at Mingei Arts.
::The Player's cigarette package above is from Cigcard's Flickrstream.