Tin, Laurent & Rossier

Type of object
Technique and material

Tinning, chromolithography

From 1886 to 1904
25 x 12.5 cm

In the late 19th century, the Swiss town of Lausanne housed several confectionery companies, including the Laurent & Rossier factory in business between 1886 and 1904. It enjoyed significant success in particular from sales of its signature sweets designed to alleviate chest ailments. These were made with pine buds and sold in tins such as this one belonging to the Alimentarium.

Most Laurent & Rossier tins are very beautiful and this one is no exception. It is decorated with chromolithography, a method for printing pictures in colour, invented in the 19th century and then widely used in advertising. Each side of the tin illustrates one of the four seasons, with a depiction of a young woman in the floral Art Nouveau style typical of that period. Such décor has little to do with the contents of the tin: sweets recommended to ward off chills and coughs. They were sold as a cheap alternative to expensive medication marketed at that time.

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