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HONG KONG HOTEL, HONG KONG, CHINA [Luggage Label/Color Post Card]
[Hong Kong ca. 1920's, Hong Kong-Shanghai Hotels]. Color luggage label, 9.5 x 14.5 cm., exceptionally clean, unused, in mylar protector, verso clean, these are quite rare & few survived. S C A R C E ! *** *** AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF DAN SWEENEY DESIGNED AND COLOR DRAWN ADVERT A RARE and very lovely composition shows a Chinese coolie in Hong Kong, with a bamboo basket of chrysanthemums carried on his left hip. He wears a bamboo hat and holds a red and white Dahlia in his right hand and looks up at would-be buyers. Nicely executed in full color and signed in the lower left corner: "Dan Sweeney." DAN SWEENEY: BOOK ILLUSTRATOR & HOTEL LUGGAGE LABEL ARTISTS: Sweeney was an American illustrator, book illustrator, art deco artist, who also designed art nouveau hotel luggage labels, he worked 1920-1930's. There are a substantial number of books illustrated by Sweeney. Dan C. Sweeney was born in 1880 in Sacramento, California. Details of his early years are unknown, but he must have started illustrating around the turn of the century. By 1914 he was already sufficiently known to be hired to illustrate a book but most of his work as a book illustrator seems to have been done in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Dan Sweeney was a remarkable illustrator who, signed his work and in his lifetime obtained enough recognition to be mentioned today in a few "Who is who in Art" books. Most of Dan Sweeney's illustrations were done for newspapers and magazines as the San Francisco Chronicle, Collier's, Overboard Monthly, World Travelers and other books. He also did theater and travel posters and other illustrations. He was considered a specialist in western and marine subjects. How Sweeney came to design hotel luggage labels. Apparently his illustrations of exotic scenes caught the eye of a manager of the Hong-Kong & Shanghai Hotels concern and he was commissioned to design labels for the several hotels of the group in Hong-Kong, Shanghai and Peking. His commission may have been received during a trip to the Orient because he did labels for a number of other Asian hotels, all datable to a short period in the late 1920s. We know of 11 labels signed by Dan Sweeney for the following hotels: Hong-Kong Hotel; The Peak Hotel, HK; Peninsula Hotel, HK; Repulse Bay Hotel, HK; Grand Hotel des Wagons-Lights, Peking; Astor House, Shanghai; Majestic Hotel, Shanghai; Palace Hotel, Shanghai; Grand Hotel Metropole, Hanoi; Continental Palace Hotel, Saigon; and Manila Hotel. They all share the same general dimensions (9 x 14 cm), they all have the name of the hotel in a serifed type of the Times News Roman family, and they are all printed by the four-color process on a variety of papers including a granular sort that offers the best color rendition. The same illustrations used for labels were used in publicity folders, cards [the same size as labels but printed on heavier stock] and postcards. Dan Sweeney died in 1958 but his fine labels remain. In their time they were amidst the finest on travelers' luggage and because of their appeal were widely imitated (e g: Gloucester Hotel in HK, Saigon Palace Hotel, and several others). Some of these labels may even stem from original designs by Dan Sweeney for these same hotels. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Essay by Joao-Manuel Mimoso on his collection http://www.historia.com.pt/labels/artists/Sweeney/Sweeney.ht m .
      [Bookseller: Rare Oriental Book Company, ABAA, ILAB -]
Last Found On: 2018-01-09           Check availability:      Biblio    

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