Friday, September 26, 2008

You beauty...

Since moving studios last year I've been cycling past this great mosaic on my way to work each day. I'd assumed it was part of the old public baths building that it adorns but after a bit of a rummage on t'internet I discovered that it has a much more interesting history...

The Camberwell Beauty butterfly once thrived in the area and was first caught in the UK on Coldharbour Lane in 1748. (Haven't seen many down there recently. Seen a few Camberwell carrots though...)

This mosaic Camberwell Beauty is a version of the logo adopted by Samuel Jones and Co a Victorian gummed paper manufacturer based in Peckham. It was apparently chosen to demonstrate the range of colours that their 'Butterfly Brand' papers could achieve. Samuel Jones and Co made the gum for British postage stamps in the 1920s and in the 60's, produced the first self-adhesive labels in the UK.

This mosaic was originally on the front of their factory in Peckham and was moved to its current location when the factory was demolished in 1982.

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