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Map of Ceylon showing her Tea industry

  • Author: GILL, (Leslie) MacDonald (designer)
  • Publisher: Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board (issuer) - H & C Press Columbo (printer)
  • Date: c1934
  • Dimensions: 13.9 x 9.2 cms


MacDonald Gill’s miniature map designed for the Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board [c1934], this example an unusual promotional flyer

About this piece:

Map of Ceylon showing her Tea industry

Double-sided flyer, the recto printed with Gill map, the verso with text. Verso text with original ink stamp. Map in fresh & bright printed colours.  Overall excellent clean condition.

This is an usual promotional flyer, which incorporates a recto map design by MacDonald Gill (his signature MacD G appears in the lower right corner) depicting the Island of Ceylon and her Tea Industry. It formed another strand of the advertising and promotional campaign of the Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board in the early 1930’s. Their initials appear just above the title of the map (Issued by CTPB) in the upper right corner of the engraving. Gill’s distinctive design style is immediately apparent, with a typical corner sunburst and wind heads and an array of ships and galleons in the seas around Ceylon as used on his larger pictorial poster, as well as finely detailed depictions of native peoples, flora and fauna within the Island’s interior. The principal tea growing regions are also clearly denoted. This design appears in numerous slightly different variants and states, some examples being printed in Great Britain, some in Ceylon. Those printed in Ceylon usually bear the imprint of H & C Press Colombo or, as here, have the simple wording “Printed in Ceylon” in the lower left border. Some are designed as postcards, others, as here, small advertising flyers or commercial Ceylon tea order forms or short promotional paper booklets. This example was evidently a small advertising and promotional flyer for Ceylon Tea. The text on the verso opens with a teacup logo showing the different times of day above and with the strapline “Anytime is Tea Time – Morning Noon and Night”. Two stanzas of short rhyming verse follow : To make a cup of choicest tea / Remember this where’er you be, / Use tea of quality – kept air-tight / And nut brown teapot clean and bright / Teaspoonful for each in heated pot / Pour on fresh water boling hot, / And then for just five minutes wait / With milk and sugar tea is great. A final purple ink stamp had added: Specially blended & packed by the Tea Commissioner, Ceylon along the lower border of the sheet. It was known that the CTPB operated through the Tea Commissioners’ Department to try to regulate the commercial Ceylon tea trade and ensure the quality of the Ceylon Tea that was being produced, blended, packed and exported for consumption in Great Britain and other overseas countries during this period. A rare and fascinating piece of 1930’s cartographic and advertising ephemera relating to Ceylon Tea.