Rule Britannia: 2trading on the British Image

Robert Opie, Author Viking Books $20 (159p) ISBN 978-0-670-80713-0
Opie's collection of British advertising and packaging art, around which he established a museum of consumerism, is the source for this book. In the second half of the 19th century, as methods of mass production (and printing) advanced, illustrated advertising became widely used in Britain; as foreign competition was felt, it took on a more nationalistic tinge. The 500 illustrations here (half in color) show products of the last 100 years displaying ritual images of empire and homeland: royalty, from Victoria to Diana; John Bull; the Union Jack; beefeaters, sailors and housemaids. One 1885 ad depicts an ""international jury'' announcing ``the world's verdict'' that a certain brand of cocoa is the best on earth. A leaflet from the 1890s shows Queen Victoria next to a package of Golfer Oats``the two safeguards of the constitution.'' There are tins commemorating royal weddings, coronations or jubilees, a tradition that continues strong today. For those with a fascination for the merchandising designs of an earlier era, the book will prove a delight. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1986
Release date: 05/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
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