On tan ground, imprinted in green, in a stencilled typeface (echoing stencils found on bales of tobacco), across upper edge: EL PRODUCTO / cigars. Lower right quadrant, imprinted in brown: for Dad... / with love / and kisses; three images of lips in red; at center left an image of a man in the form of a brown cigar, wearing yellow and red brimmed hat and holding a cigar in one hand and a cane in the other. A product label, in white, red and yellow, is wrapped around the upper part of the cigar.
A Cigar a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Throughout the majority of his career, comedian George Burns (1896-1996), was rarely seen without his favorite cigar in hand – the El Producto Queens. He reportedly smoked 10-15 cigars each day and lived to be 100. At 98 he was even quoted saying, “If I’d taken my doctor’s advice and quit smoking when he advised...
Tapering cylindrical form with circular mouth, broad shoulder; body decorated with horizontal grooves; creamy yellow matte glaze.
A Modern Wedgwood Unadorned
This austere vase embodies nearly the exact opposite of Wedgwood’s well-known decorative aesthetic. Founded in 1759, the firm developed a sophisticated earthenware, often either black to imitate ancient Greek ceramics, or blue with relief decoration featuring neoclassical husks, swags of flowers and pastoral scenes. Early wares made of this material were cheaper than porcelain, but...
Poster for Warsaw production of the 1914-22 opera by Alban Berg.
A Bloody, Primal Scream
This gut wrenching poster, designed by the Polish graphic designer Jan Lenica, was produced to advertise the Polish National Opera’s 1964 production of Alban Berg’s avant-garde opera Wozzeck in Warsaw.  An icon of Polish graphic design, the poster was awarded a Gold Medal at the 1966 Warsaw International Poster Biennale, and is Lenica’s best known...
1972-42- Matt Flynn 003
Chocolate & Roses
An early, French-made sidewall reminiscent of the pleasant cliches of a romance in France. A warm, chocolate-colored background sets off lovely, lush pink roses in full bloom. The burgeoning blossoms grow from impossibly delicate vines, profuse with perfect little green leaves livened up by touches of pale pink and yellow. Smaller white blooms flutter about...
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Buffalo Rose
Jungle-green, blooming roses are outlined against a jet-black background in this mid twentieth century machine printed wallpaper. The sharp, sure linear style of the images is reminiscent of old wood-cut prints, while the colorway brings to mind the kitschy black velvet paintings that frequently turn up in junk shops and dive bars. Thoughts of amateur...
Rectangular black screen in tapering red plastic housing pierced with rows of speaker holes on four sides; row of control buttons at front top; hole in rear to accomodate power cord.
TV Beyond the Twentieth Century Living Room
Bulky and cumbersome CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions that occupied a place of pride in living rooms since the 1950s have quickly fallen out of favor in the twenty-first century as LCD (liquid crystal display) televisions boast sleek flat shapes and a clearer picture. One aspect of CRT televisions that brought them to be classified as...
Fork at top left with end of handle formed by female bust; an extended volute forms length of handle which connects to a satyr whose legs tranform into two fork tines. Spoon at top right has handle formed by satyr-herm whose lower half extends to connect to bowl of spoon with two opposing scrolls and a mask. Design for saltcellar and egg dish in center; figures of Leda and the swan at top of vessel upon a raised rectangular plinth; relief panel with two swans on front side of plinth; lower part of vessel is six-sided with round well for holding an egg on each end and projecting seashell to hold salt in center front; front panel displays figure of Venus reclining on the sea with one elbow resting on a dolphin and other hand holding reigns of two dolphins, ornamental curtain above the scene; dolphin heads on lower corners form the feet; guilloche ornament borders the lower edge; oval reserves with figures on angled sides. Plan of vessel at bottom, inscription located within the rectangle framing for the raised plinth and between the seashell shapes for the salt and round shapes for the eggs.
A Novel Way to Eat Your Eggs
Poached, fried, boiled, or roasted, eggs were an important part of the Italian Renaissance diet. In the sixteenth century, Italian chefs Bartolomeo Scappi and Cristoforo da Messisbugo each published cookbooks that detailed recipes and techniques for preparing banquets, and eggs were often on the menu. One of Scappi’s reoccurring recipes was for uovo da bere, or...
Molded, laminated wood form of T-shaped back, square seat, the sides bending to form four flat legs; front of seat bent down to form short apron; back with small heart-shaped cut-out in center, attached to seat with three metal fasteners. Red-stained finish.
Minimalism in the Playroom
Experimenting with the possibilities of molded plywood during World War II allowed influential design couple Charles and Ray Eames to perfect a cheaper alternative to metal leg splints. The lightweight design proved to be a life-saving innovation for wounded soldiers. At the end of the war, the Eamses redirected their improved understanding of molded plywood...
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Mystery Plant
A highly symmetrical stalk grows confidently up the center of this sidewall panel, which was manufactured in France in the early nineteenth century. Acanthus-like foliage and strange, swirly pods droop heavily downwards, accented by wispy little branches of leaves and un-opened blossoms. Winged insects descend towards the stalk from either side. Presumably their mission is...