This was printed to travel the world: the hotel staff would stick them on guests' luggage, then off they'd go around the world, advertising the hotel as they went.
This label had a quieter destiny, picked up and carried home in the traveller's scrapbook. Years later the label ended up for sale, was bought, scanned, and here it is.
You might have seen this picture before, or others from the same artist. Look carefully under the 'A' of China, and you'll see his signature, 'Dan Sweeney'. He painted several labels for the Hong-Kong & Shanghai Hotels in the late 1920s: four of their Hong Kong properties, and two of their hotels in Shanghai.
There's a little artistic licence used in this painting, with no road shown between the hotel and the beach. Minor quibbles, for it certainly does the job intended. Who wouldn't want to pay a visit to those beautiful blue seas, and perhaps while away a day in one of the huts along the beach?
- Full set of Dan Sweeney's labels for hotels in Asia on Flickr
- A brief bio of Dan Sweeney
- A history of luggage labels