Chinese Firecracker / Firework hand painted embossed label.

Ca. 1900.
Hand painted embossed foil label, 3 x 14 1/2 inches. Light wear to surface with minor paint flaking. A beautiful and unusual example of Chinese folk art, this is a vintage original hand painted embossed gold foil label, produced in China circa 1900 to be used as a decorative label on the outside of a box of firecrackers or other fireworks. It measures 3 x 14 1/2 inches. This label had been stored away and so is in virtually "as new" condition, however because of the fragile nature of the material, there is some flaking of the paint in small areas. This isn't anything you really notice because of the vivid colors and pattern. In an article in the January - February 1981 issue of Arts of Asia magazine, John H. Enns notes that this style of Chinese firework label was produced between 1850 and 1910 in the Canton region of Kwangtung province. "Many were painted in the city of Fatshan long noted for the manufacture of religious prints, papercuts and charms used in holiday celebrations. During these celebrations it was common to hang boxes of fireworks across the narrow streets and explode the entire string from a single fuse. As a result, very few of these labels remain today." As with the fruit crate labels produced in the United States, the purpose of the firework labels was to attract the eye and therefore sell the merchandise; so bright colors and auspicious symbols were used, to convey a feeling of festiveness and good fortune. Each label was painted by hand. The labels were often imported into the United States by firework wholesalers to use in packaging the fireworks here; these labels were in storage in a Portland, Oregon Chinese goods store. Item #54581

Price: $45.00