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  Themes Homepage > Tins 1915-1940 > Zodiac, 1937
Zodiac, 1937
Zodiac, 1937
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Brief Description: Small rectangular tin in metallic colours with signs of the zodiac on the lid and around the sides. Strange design featuring a Javanese figure holding a cocktail shaker on the lid. Huntley & Palmers stamp on base
Subject Date: 1937
Creator: Not known
Publisher: Huntley & Palmers
Full Description: This is one of the most bizarre tins produced by Huntley & Palmers. The twelve signs of the zodiac are shown in a straight-forward way around the sides - hence the name of the tin. The image on the lid, though, seems to have no relation to these images. It shows a dark-skinned figure in Javanese style costume. He is holding a cocktail shaker. To the right is a white calf decorated with bells and looking slightly apprehensive. Above the calf is a sheaf of corn and a sickle. To the left is a cockerel, a bowl of eggs and another container heaped with what is presumably meant to be sugar. Below these objects is a fire within elaborate animal-headed metal-work frame - the fire is roasting a pile of biscuits marked 'H and P' or 'Huntley & Palmers'. The scene is clearly intended to be humourous - somewhat in the manner of the 1952 film Bob Hope and Bing Crosby film 'The Road to Bali'. What at first sight appears to be an exotic scene showing a Hindu sacrifice turns out to a priest mixing himself a cocktail. The emblems around him allude to the ingredients of the cocktail biscuits in the tin - milk, corn, eggs and sugar. Quite how all of this relates to the signs of the zodiac, though, is left unexplained. The high incomes and increased leisure time after the First World War led to the introduction of new kinds of biscuits and this tin clearly must have contained an assortment of cocktail varieties. Cocktail parties became increasingly popular and this tin contains recipes for cocktail drinks, including the Bronx, Manhattan and White Lady printed on the inside. For another tin from the late 1930s with a Javanese theme see the 'Legend' tin of 1938.
Collection: Reading Museum Service
Dimensions: Height: 5.0cm, Width: 22.0cm, Depth: 14.70cm
Subject: cocktail shaker, animal, goat, bird, sign, folklore and legend, natural science <zoology>
Content Type: tin
Location: Reading Museum Service
Local Ref: REDMG : 1992.2.296
Unique ID: rm-rm-1992_2_296~1_469-i-00-000.tif
IPR: Reading Borough Council (Reading Museum Service)
  Themes Homepage > Tins 1915-1940 > Zodiac, 1937
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