This is an invitation to explore and be amazed by the arts, as you delve into a collection of works by generations of incredible artists and their unique perspectives on Sandeman’s legacy.
George Massiot Brown
"The Sandeman Don"
George Massiot Brown was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, and in his 20’s he arrived in London seeking fame and fortune. In 1928, aged 38, Brown conceived the original Sandeman artwork while working at the printer’s studio of the Lochend Printing Company.
The ‘Sandeman Don’ – the mysterious silhouette in a Portuguese student’s black cloak and Spanish hat representing Sandeman’s Port and Sherry, became one of the first wine logos in the industry and continues to be one of the most iconic images in the drinks business. Often described as a ‘quiet’ man, there is little public information about his career and work other than this design for Sandeman, where he dropped the name ‘Brown’ when signing in order to enhance the Continental aura of his work. At the beginning of World War II, George Massiot Brown returned to Scotland, where he died in his late 60’s.
Pierrot and Partner
Born in Sunderland, England, Septimus Edwin Scott studied at the Royal College of Art in London and by 1903, aged 24, his work was already exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.
Around 1910, Sandeman bought some of these paintings, namely the ’Picador’ and ‘Spanish Dance’ (later known as ‘Sherryland’), which were adapted into posters, wine labels and advertising along the years. In 1926, Sept E. Scott created an extended newspaper campaign for Sandeman called ‘The Partners’ that, with wit and humour, helped clarify the company’s position, which was quite audacious and controversial at the time. An acclaimed and versatile artist, Sept E. Scott was a renowned painter, illustrator, poster designer and, in the latter part of his life, he produced and illustrated comics, almost up until his death in 1965.
Edward Loxton Knight was born in 1905 in Long Eaton, England. At the local grammar school, he was greatly influenced by his headmaster, Samuel Clegg (grandfather of the eminent Richard and David Attenborough), before starting his studies at the Nottingham School of Art (1924-29), under its principle and sculptor Joseph Else.
It was during this period that he created the ‘Sandeman Port’ poster (circa 1925), a striking image of a woman in a wide-brimmed hat holding a glass of red Port. Over the years, the colour of the glass was often presented in amber shades when used by the company to promote its Sherry wines, thus originating the ‘Sherry Girl’. Loxton Knight’s work was extensively displayed, he was a member of multiple arts societies, and is also well known for his watercolour and woodcut paintings, which form a part of many public and private collections. He lived and worked in his hometown, where he died on the first day of January, in 1993.
Born in Paris in 1886, Jean Paul Beguin adopted the pseudonym d'Ylen in 1912. As a young talent, he studied Fine Arts and started as a jewellery designer, along with some work in illustration and advertising. Jean d’Ylen joined the Cartography Department of the Army during World War I and later, after its end, dedicated himself to creating posters. His flamboyant designs caught the attention of the famed Vercasson printers in Paris, with whom he signed an exclusive contract in 1922.
D’Ylen once said that 'a poster must be expressive, colourful and have an attraction that captures the attention of a passer-by'… and that defines the four posters he created for Sandeman in 1926 – ‘Jester’, ‘Lady Dancing’, ‘Woman with flower’ and the fantastic ‘Centaur’, that caused quite a stir at the time. A prolific and admired artist, he produced exuberant posters for renowned names worldwide, first with Vercasson and then with Weiner in London, starting in 1934. Sadly, Jean d’Ylen died prematurely four years later, in his early fifties.
Jester in a barrel
Lady with flower
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