This is a super-fantastic addition to our annals for a couple of reasons.
1/ It’s only the second time such a mug features what appears to be a Competition Winner’s artwork on it. Hardened Spotters will not need reminding of Bolton Metro’s joyous ‘Into the Future Together‘ effort.
This Sparta’s outrageous rear features one stunning Caroline Butler original illustration executed in Pencil Crayon & Felt tip. Included is a test tube and the word “21st”, which we guess means CIBA are driving chemical research into this century. No indication is given to the age of Ms Butler when this was laid down on canvass.
Upon rotating this confident & toned Sparta, it’s all a bit down hill from there but it does include a full colour logo for CIBA, indicating no expense has been spared on the production.
2/ This was shot on location in an actual Charity Shop. (Hence the hand-action). Opting not to purchase, this was captured for ‘evaluation’ purposes and in effect we are actually putting this ‘in the virtual shop window’. If you live in the vicinity of the boho artisan township of Chorlton, Manchester, this should be residing in one of their 3 Charity shops and can be yours for around the 80p mark. The catch though is that if you buy you’ll be charged £5 for a hemp carrier bag to put it in.
According to the Information Super Highway, CIBA was a chemical company based in and near Basel, Switzerland and it’s initials stand for “Chemische Industrie Basel” (Chemical Industries Basel). It was formed as the non-pharmaceuticals element of Novartis but was spun out in 1997, following the merger in the previous year of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz that created Novartis. (This is starting to read like the script of “Clash of the Titans!”)
In 2008, Ciba was acquired by the German chemical company BASF and in April 2009, integrated into the BASF group. Whatever.
All we know is that there’s scant mention of a UK outlet for CIBA on the Net save for one archaic location in Macclesfield, which isn’t a million miles away from Bo-ho central, Chorlton. (Please click this link for a good laugh!)
My interest however was piqued at the reference to BASF. Most of my misspent youth was taken up listening to vinyl and “Killing Music” by making compilation and mix tapes, which in bygone times was an ideal way of wooing a potential mate. I always found The Smiths worked as opposed to Barry White.