Italian Olive Oil Tins, 1860-1960

Manuela Guatelli

Italian Olive Oil Tins, 1860-1960

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Gorgeous and rare tin designs for olive oil, from a preeminent collection Tracing a century-long history of olive-oil tin design from the Guatelli Collection, Italian Olive Oil Tins presents a wealth of lithographed tinplate packaging imagery, revealing a particularly happy marriage of industry and design. These beautiful tins--from historic companies with evocative names such as Gioconda, Napoleon, Aroma, Rooster Brand, Sophia and Dante--were produced largely for the export market--that is, the homesick Italian diaspora. The designs on these tins consequently tend to deploy imagery of people in peasant dress, the Italian countryside, famous Italians and familiar characters from Italian literature. In his foreword to this volume, Francis Ford Coppola conveys the impact of the nostalgia evoked by these designs: "It is truly a pleasure to view the many hundreds of these unique packages and consider them from the perspective of the groves of olive trees in Lucania, home of my own ancestors, and throughout this blessed peninsula producing high quality food products, tomatoes, pasta, wine, and olive oil that set the standard for the most notable cuisine in the world."

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