Saturday, December 29, 2012

East India Tea Company - Poster


Place of origin:
London, England (made)

ca. 1870 (published)

Adlard, J. (lithographer)

Materials and Techniques:
colour lithograph, inks on paper

Credit Line:
Presented by E. A. Binstead

Museum number:

Gallery location:
British Galleries, room 125f, case WS

Object Type
This poster is a colour lithograph or chromolithograph. A lithograph is a picture made by printing from a flat surface (traditionally stone, now often a metal plate), on which the artist draws or paints the original design with a greasy substance like chalk. The surface is next prepared, moistened and inked; the greasy printing ink adheres to the design, which is then printed onto a sheet of paper. To make a colour lithograph a separate printing surface is required for each colour.

Subjects Depicted
Through a combination of imagery and text, this poster relays a great deal of information about the East India Tea Company, its brand of teas, and the way they were marketed. The lettering boldly spells out the name of the Company and its central London address, which is reinforced by the view of the headquarters building in St. Helen's Bishopsgate in the City of London. The scale of its British operation is spelt out in the sub-text, proudly boasting that agents for the product are 'appointed in every town & village'. The range of teas - black, green, mixed - is clearly described, and the price (two shillings per pound in weight) and weight per bag (6 pounds) is shown in label format. The artists also shows us the brand packaging, visible on the consignment of tea arriving at headquarters.

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