Artesque, Bromide photographic paper, London. Box label.

This decorative three colour label adorns an otherwise plain grey cardboard box, which once contained 100 sheets of unexposed photographic paper. The box is not dated and I would struggle to pin it down as firms like this (I can find no reference to The Artesque Agency anywhere) often kept a label design going years after it had first appeared, though pre-1930 is likely. Paper size is 3.5 by 6.5 inches, with metric dimensions also given for buyers outside the UK.
Once used, the box was recycled to store file prints in afterwards (a very common trait amongst photographers; I still have boxes from the 80s used for the same purpose!). The prints dated from the 1950s, which suggests the photo studio it came from – Rousham – Roberts in Wales – had been using it for storage for over 50 years. The last owner of the studio died in the 1990s and the contents, dozens of similar boxes full of prints, were given to a local museum (who let me photograph it earlier this year).


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