Tie one on

Heal's London shop 1920s paper gift tag

An expression that is nice is ‘rarer than hen’s teeth.’ It brings to mind so many interesting images. This little (8 x 5cm) smidgen of paper probably deserves that appellation. How it survived. How someone who found it thought someone else would be daft enough to buy it. How I found it in amongst the many folds of eBay. How it cost very little. How nobody else appeared to want it.

That last is the most puzzling. This is a very lovely little thing, I think. Redolent of all things nice: shopping, design, illustration, ephemera, branding, toys, gifts. It might have been tied to a gift chosen from this Heal’s catalogue.

This may be a small find but interestingly the illustration has been credited to an artist. It would be nice to know who sits behind that ‘DH’.

Heal’s was ever self-conscious of its artistic leanings. They used graphic artists and illustrators and named them. They commissioned poster and textile designs and named the artists. They had a small area marked off for exhibitions called ‘The Mansard Gallery.’ For a good while in the 1920s and 1930s Heal’s were all that was considered commercial and attractive in product in a most knowing way.

I haven’t seen the Heal’s logo as a bird before. How very Twitter that bird is.

Heal's London shop 1920s paper gift tag back



Absolutely love it! But if I had it I could never use it. Such a simple shape could easily be carved into a rubber stamp – a lovely leisurely project for those few days between The day and New Year when we still feel rather Christmassy. Thank you for sharing another gem.


Very nice indeed. Trying to find out who the illustrator is is a definite project, as is adapting it for a future christmas card.


I must confess I did spend half an hour trying out varying search terms. Not quite the NAL though


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