Bluebird biscuit tins (McVitie and Price)
Bluebird biscuit tins (McVitie and Price)(i)
Arch Two , Area 9
Biscuit Tins (display)
A matching pair of large lithographed tinplate "Bluebird" biscuit tins produced for Scottish biscuit manufacturer McVitie and Price. The V&A list the bird as having been made by the firm of Barringer, Wallis & Manners in 1911.
This exhibit is from the collection of Sarah Leather
The tin's body is shaped roughly like an upright rugby ball, with a circular base with embossed feet, and a somewhat squat removable head. The overall colour is greeny-blue, with a yellow/orange chest and a reddish-orange beak.
Possible design influences
Tinware designers had a habit of experimenting with different styles and techniques, and reusing the resulting shapes with different lithography.
In the case of the bluebirds, the central fourfold-symmetrical "vase" design without the bird's head looks like a four-petalled or four husked seedpod or flowerbud, and looks to be less like a bird and more like a plant-inspired abstract vase.
It in fact looks rather as if it might have been inspired by some of the silverware produced in Paris by Paul Follot (1877-1941), a French designer involved with the "L'Art dans Tout" movement, a traditionalist anti-modernist counterpart to the various "rustic" movements in England. Follot's later work included designing for Wedgwood.
- Bluebird, McV-Price 1911, CWS 1912 (britishbiscuittins.co.uk)
- Bluebird Biscuit Tin, M.J. Franklin Collection, V&A Museum (collections.vam.ac.uk)