This exquisite chocolate box from our collection unveils the exceptional history of Russian-Jewish immigrants who from the 1920s to 1940s, built a vast chocolate production empire, spanning across four factories in four Chinese cities and operating seven outlet stores.
This rare 1927 Palmolive poster from our collection, not only stems from a very short-lived period of the brand, but was also designed by the most prolific commercial artist of Republican China. Follow along for a deep-dive into this golden age of Chinese advertising.
This exceptionally rare 1917 calendar poster for State Express 555 cigarettes from our collection, tells the unlikely story of a Western brand that, with one simple trick, became a top-seller in China and was even endorsed by the country’s most notorious “influencer” … State Express were luxury cigarettes manufactured in the United Kingdom by the Ardath Tobacco Company. The brand was founded in London in 1896 by tobacco merchant Sir Albert Levy (1864–1937).
A lovely and innocent Chinese girl in 1920s fashion, advertising a skin medication by Foster-McClellan in Shanghai. A check in the historic “List of American firms at Shanghai” by the US consul identifies the company as “importers of patent medicines”. What dark secrets could this fair facade possibly mask?
The earliest form of football has actually been recognized by FIFA as the Chinese game of Cuju or Tsu' Chu (蹴鞠), dating back to the 3rd century BC. A competitive form of Cuju was already used then as fitness training for soldiers, while other forms were played for entertainment.
Before the electrification of China starting in 1882 and the introduction of battery-powered torches in the 1910s, oil lamps were the predominant means of illumination. They were cheap to manufacture & became popular promotional merchandise - most famously exemplified by the Standard Oil Company of New York (SOCONY).
The Quaker Oats trademark was registered in 1877 by Henry Seymour, an Ohio milling company owner. In 1901 his former company was merged with several other producers under the newly formed Quaker Oats Company, founded by Henry Parsons Crowell, and soon started to sell its products internationally through global distribution networks. In 1908, Quaker Oats introduced the first in a series of cookie recipes on the box and the iconic cylindrical package made its first appearance in 1915.
In 1848 John B. Curtis from Maine developed the first commercial chewing gum, inspired by American Indians who chewed resin made from the sap of spruce trees. The product innovation soon became popular across the USA and beyond. Already in 1890, we find a first mention of chewing gum being available for Christmas season in the International Settlement of Shanghai from American trading firm Mustard & Co. But it took another 20 years before mass-marketing to a wider Chinese audience would...
The Cycle brand was created in the early 1900s during the days of the American Bicycle Boom - a no-brainer for Big Tobacco to associate itself with the corresponding health benefits. In China Cycle was distributed by Enterprise Tobacco Co, Ltd. (和泰烟有限公司), part of the British American Tobacco (BAT) cigarette behemoth. The Chinese name is a direct translation using the now old-fashioned term 自由车, which translates to any sort of bike but comes with a nice spin as the literal...