Archive for February, 2023

This one came out of the blue.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

While having coffee at Le Capucin in Portsea, I noticed this rather lovely bit of art in the window of an antique shop near by.

I felt it was perfect for our house in Sorrento, so I decided to buy it. We have owned the place for over 30 years so this was going to be a celebration of that.

The following day, when I looked in the shop again, it was gone. I then asked the owner, Sally, if she still had it and this is where it got interesting. She told me she did and then gave me some background information to it.

It was based on a Reckitt’s Blue poster that was produced in the 1930s’ and signed by the artist Rowles. Unfortunately I can’t find any information on this particular illustrator.

I recall my mother using a Reckitt’s Blue Bag in our copper (yes, back in the 50s we had a copper). The ingredients of the blue bag was synthetic ultramarine and sodium bicarbonate. It was put in the boiling water to help whiten the washing. As most sheets and shirts were white and not synthetic back then, it was used a lot.

It was also used as a remedy for bee stings and bull ant bites. My mother used to just rub a wet Reckitt’s Blue Bag over the affected area and magically the pain would disappear.

The original Reckitt’s Blue poster, used for this piece, has been reworked to delete the ‘Reckitt’s’ and the baseline, ‘Freshness out of the Blue’ and customise it for Sorrento.

Sally then admitted that she was the artist and had created it in 1996.

I love art but when it comes with a great story, it’s even better.