Tasveer Ghar: A Digital Archive of South Asian Popular Visual Culture

Susan Meller is the author of the recently published book Labels of Empire: Textile Trademarks. Windows into India in the time of the Raj. The book offers an unprecedented view of the British textile industry during this period through the striking paper labels (called “tickets”) that served as the companies’ trademarks. Designed and printed in the UK, they were pasted onto every piece of exported cloth. These colourful chromo- lithographed labels were created to attract the attention of buyers in the bustling Indian bazaars. They depicted Hindu gods, maharajas, dancing girls, everyday scenes, local wildlife, etc. and proved a remarkably successful way of marketing. The textile labels and bazaar prints illustrated here are examples of the rich visual narrative of Indian popular culture – even when it was “appropriated” by British manufacturers to promote their goods.

More details about the book at https://labelsofempire.com/

Essay/s by this author at Tasveer Ghar:

Mounts of the Gods:
Textile Labels and Bazaar Prints

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