28. March 2023
Like no other, this vibrant ad for the trifecta of Victor Sassoon’s hospitality empire, symbolizes the unprecedented real-estate boom and architectural splendor of Shanghai in the early 1930s. Join us on a journey through the history of the three edifices, all of which still house hotels today.
05. March 2023
Do Chinese people eat cornflakes for breakfast? It turns out, it is as difficult to chew on this question today, as it was in the 1920s. Discover the century-long struggle of Kellogg's in cracking the Chinese market and where the company and its former partners stand today.
27. February 2023
This beautiful mid-1920s Art Deco style advertisement sign for Allenburys tells the astonishing story of the once wealthiest foreign family of Old Shanghai. They were highly esteemed, with numerous schools, two streets, an office building, and even a coffee house named after them. Yet, their name has almost been forgotten, if it weren’t for the rare artefacts that sometimes still show up in the antique markets and the few remnants of their legacy strewn across the vanishing old city.
30. January 2023
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?
23. January 2023
Happy Chinese New Year! This rare A.S. Watsons advertisement from our collection not only has a peculiar design around the auspicious character 康 (health), but tells the origin story and evolution of the famous Chinese calendar posters which were in fact pioneered by Watsons in the 1880s together with a second British firm.
09. January 2023
"Once upon a time, on a fair and wondrous day, the brave King of the Franks did journey to the fabled land of Cathay. Resplendent in his ermine-trimmed robes, he arrived at the Imperial Palace in the celestial city of Beijing. There, he was greeted with the utmost reverence by the Son of Heaven, the august Emperor of China, who was attired in his finest silks and adorned with glittering jewels. When the two monarchs took their seats of honor, a hush fell over the court, for all knew that this...
02. January 2023
As gorgeous and innocent looking this “Honey Soap” advertising poster featuring Chinese actress Li Lili is, it actually tells the story of several dark episodes from China’s marketing and entertainment history.
12. December 2022
A sophisticated Old Shanghai lady relaxing with a bite of Fry’s chocolate at her country home. Her bamboo flute (or is it maybe an opium pipe?) close beside her. What in 1927 may have sounded like an intriguing value proposition for J.S. Fry & Son’s in the Middle Kingdom, turned out to be nothing but a pipe dream…. Joseph Fry from Bristol, England started making chocolate around 1759. After several changes of name and ownership, the business became J. S. Fry & Sons in 1822. In...
05. December 2022
The crumb trail of Bakerite leads us back to the American James David Sullivan, who after serving in the Spanish American War, came to China at the turn of the century and established the Denniston & Sullivan photo supplies store on Broadway (today’s Daming Rd.) in the Shanghai International Settlement. In June 1906 Sullivan sold the business to former employees Messrs. L.L. Hopkins and J.J. Gilmore who continued to operate it but moved it to Nanking Rd. (todays Nanjing East Rd.)
28. November 2022
A friendly reminder from the Tientsin Press Ltd. (天津印字馆): NOW is the time to order those Christmas cards you’ll want to send to your friends!