Welcome to Mugspotters. This is an intimate webspace dedicated to & celebrating the much-maligned world of Trade Mugs which are often given-away, discarded, ill-treated and lucky if they reach the giddy status of 'Emergency Mug' in the domestic arena. We aim to share our love of such artefacts via the world-wide web and carefully selected social media outlets. If you too share our love, we'd appreciate your thoughts and kind comments.
It never ceases to amaze us here at Mugspotters HQ by the number of hits our humble blog receives and we’re even more thrilled when we are hit from a richly diverse range of communities, cultures and continents. In recent months we’ve been tracking activity in India and inevitably via the medium of electronic-mail we received some wonderful spottage direct from its call-centre capital, Bangalore.
We are extremely excited to share this VERY racy dual-aspect Marrow with you which I’m sure you’ll agree tikkas all the right boxes. It’s slender frame brings to life the brands of
A) Casa Del Sol Hotel
B) Casa Piccola Cottage (Call it Home! TM)
This Marrow is so well cooked you can almost smell the ghee.
Aspect ‘A’ has a distinctly Western feel to it and its light and airy feel puts you in mind of a plethora of similar “sunshine” outlets. However Aspect ‘B’ for ‘The Cottage’ is full of Eastern promise with its beguiling come-hither typographical flourishes.
We’re no strangers to Indian delicacies as we have previously featured Sanam’s Sweet House but that was in Stockport. It’s a real privilege to be bringing you this genuine & authentic artefact from the East.
That said, we welcome and value any contributions to our blog whether you’re paneer or far.
We’re off now to poppadum the kettle on for a Chai Latte before all these take-away punnanigins get too much.
Wow! Where should we start with this? ‘Busy’ doesn’t begin to describe this gorged Cambridge.
Making the most out of its limited budget by using a daring mix of fonts & eeking every shade out of it’s low-rent 2 colour print run, this is a curious beast. It’s packed with no less than 3 brands & contemporaneous info but the messages seem to drift around it’s girth and one could become was almost bored twisting it round just to get to the big reveal. It should be a classic but it just doesn’t work. The design seems to ‘hang’ and it could have done with some more graphic flourishes to hold it all together.
A personal highlight however is the is the funky & unswerving logo for “Choisy”. (pronounced ‘Jwaasee’ according to one of our more linguistically adept mugspotting interpreters). Apparently Choisy are a Montreal-based company responsible for the Rodian VMS floorcare system, of which Arrow Chemicals seem to be peddling on our shores. Please check out YouTube for this harrowing promo-clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG1e68ActQU. It’s an art-house flick e.g. all in French but don’t let that put you off. The strapline around the mugs base is also a bit deux-faced. As for putting more colour into my life, perhaps Arrow need to put some more colours onto their Mug!
However enough of the pleasantries. Here are some quick messages from our sponsors.
Arrow Solutions was established in 1968, and supplies the UK and International markets with a wide range of industry leading cleaning and maintenance products. Based on our 16-acre site in Moira, Arrow works closely with our customers to produce the right product, every time. Arrow Solutions is committed to conducting business in an ethical and socially responsible manner, as well as ensuring the effective management of environmental issues. We are focused on sustainable development in order to meet the needs of the present without compromising future generations.
2. Choisy (pronounced ‘Jwaasee’ )
Chemistry and biotechnology serving sanitation for a clean environment. A Canadian company, Choisy Laboratories Ltd. was founded in 1946 by Yvon G. Trudeau, BA, BSc, a professional chemist and visionary
(aka dream weaver & all round good egg) who foresaw the emergence of the whole new public hygiene industry. From the start, Choisy has focused on research, manufacturing and marketing of odour control products for various applications as well as specialized products for the dairy industry. Choisy Laboratories remains committed to its original philosophy: “quality and performance through innovation”. Choisy’s founder successfully laid the groundwork for a dynamic, innovative company specializing in hygiene products and related services. The company rigorously applies chemistry industry standards to growing public hygiene needs, with the expectation that more rational sanitation control methods will result in improved public health protection.
Anyway, this post has taken an eternity to write. I think I need to crack open a window in here….
Choisy: Unofficial Odour Control Partners of Mugspotters
For some reason Mugspotters finds itself almost impossible to wrestle itself away from the spectre of the Insurance and Claims Management industries. To be truthful though this provides us with a reliable and steady flow of product with which to stuff our blog. This sophisticated & voluptuous plunging black Deco just oozes class.
Its rarely seen yet ample shape holds a VERY generous amount of beverage but I’m sure you’ll agree this is fit to grace both the dinner table as well as the working desktop environment.
For the purist…
Awwwwww Bless. How cute is this?
But what of Bexhill Insurance Premium Funding? Their location is not hard to deduce but what in the name of the Financial Ombudsman is “Premium Funding”? A trawl of the information super-highway reveals it’s (strap yourself in it’s a long one…) “…The lending of funds to a person or company to cover the cost of an insurance premium. Premium finance loans are often provided by third party finance entity known as a premium financing company; however insurance companies and brokerages occasionally provide premium financing services through premium finance platforms. Premium financing is mainly devoted to financing life insurance which differs from property and casualty insurance. To finance a premium, the individual or company requesting insurance must sign a premium finance agreement with the premium finance company. The loan arrangement may last from one year to the life of the policy. The premium finance company then pays the insurance premium and bills the individual or company, usually in monthly installments, for the cost of the loan.”
So there you have it. I would have thought insurance brokers would have had the financial solutions in place to service the buying of policies off insurers but it transpires they all must not. Indeed it’s a bit like a barber having someone else do their own shave.
In other news, this Deco came in a freebie bundle complete with a soft toy (awwwwww bless) & bijou carrier bag. For the purist Spotters I have snapped it in solitary confinement, as per the shot above but below you can enjoy the mug flanked as part of the wider package.
Awwwww Bless! How cute is this?
Disclaimer: No toy seals were harmed during the production of this blog.
It’s common knowledge that most of the mugs featured on this blog are Charity Shop salvage or gifted / spotted by our followers but recently the magic of the Internet happened. Following a visit to our humble blog we were contacted by one of the very kind people atWürth in Glasgow who said they’d love to send us one of their mugs to feature on our site.
The mug was dispatched forthwith & despite the packaging stating ‘fragile’, it was pulverised by the Royal Mail.
As it arrived at Mugspotters HQ the postie sheepishly handed over the package to a soundtrack of clinking porcelain and then slunk off into the late Manchester afternoon sunset. We knew this was not a good omen.
What followed was much wailing and gnashing of teeth as the precious fragments were emptied onto the desk. A nerve-wracking yet primitive time-teamesque reconstruction involving Kragle (see The Lego Movie) ensued and the ‘North face’ of the mug was just about salvageable but the back sadly could not be saved.
Once glued fingertips were rent asunder I took to email and thanked our contact at Würth. A second mug was promised but we can only assume the Royal Mail this time took a shine to it and it’s never made it to our door. A Director-level decision by the Mugspotters board unanimously decided we should go to e-press and publish this entry.
Please forgive the hairline cracks and retouching work. We did the best we could.
In reality it’s a lustrously svelte & glossy black Cambridge with Germanic styling and an intriguing motif. Our contact pointed out the ‘W’ in the logo comprises of 2 screw head / tips that they sell. The rear aspect of the mug showed all the critical contact details but these sadly could not be photographed.
According to their website The Würth Group is world market leader in its core business, the trade in assembly and fastening materials. It currently consists of more than 400 companies in over 80 countries with more than 66,000 employees on its payroll. Approximately 30,000 of these are permanently employed sales representatives. In the business year 2014, the Würth Group generated total sales in excess of EUR 10 billion.
Its site boasts a myriad of products under categories such as (but not limited to:)
Automotive small components & spares
Brazing, soldering & welding
Kitchens, bedroom & bathroom equipment
Plumbing & sanitation
Vehicle diagnostic systems
It’s vast but stylishly designed site and anyone with a passing interest in DIY and vehicular maintenance is bound to find it fascinating and you could maybe even become a customer.
Not many mugs we’ve come across have had such a tortuous journey to make it onto this site and this one even paid the ultimate sacrifice & lost its life in the process but I’m sure you’ll all agree the effort has been Würth it.
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.
Sensing the recent sojourn to mid-Wales and the hectic all-action thrill-ride of producing such a pan-European hit blog had taken its toll on the Mugspotters HQ, our Board of Directors and Porcelain Admin Team very recently de-camped to the party island of Ibiza for a spell of warm-weather training. The primary objective of this was to re-charge our (metaphorical) batteries and reinvigorate ourselves, thus enabling us to face the hectic run-up to Christmas.
Fear not readers, it wasn’t all Martin Garrix, Pacha & weapons-grade hedonism. For the other 2 days we rested up.
Not being able to switch off from Mugspotting I feel it right to share this humble trinket with you all from where we were holed up, namely The Hotel Hawaii, part of the Intertur Group.
Each room featured a couple of these cups and they were used en-masse in the dining room to house what the Baliericans (??) had the cheek to call ‘Cafe con Leche’. Believe me it was one rung above the very worst instant known to humankind, Kenco Rapport. True, it’s not a mug but from the ancient Greek it’s known as the “Stirling.” It’s not strictly trade either but having wrestled with the notion, I feel it warrants inclusion. On my U.K. travels I have come across these type of cups, pilfered from hotels just sitting there gathering dust on Charity Shop shelves and I’ve always turned a blind eye. Maybe our policy for inclusion of such vessels may need revisiting?
Lastly, abiding by the 8th of the 10 Commandments, we did not steal this but rather shot it in it’s beautiful natural habitat leaving it free to serve the bleary-eyed, Eee’d up party-goers of Ibiza.
As promised in our recent UMSA entry, this delightfully taut & toned ‘lipped’ Bell is the second and final trade mug in our super-exciting “Aberysthwyth Collection”.
They were salvaged from an intriguing outlet called Craft. Housed in a space looking out across the train station platform, it’s an Artisan pop-up charity shop-style affair selling mainly furniture but also including but not limited to computers, storage units, electrical items and sadly the most derisory collection of 2nd hand CD’s & DVDs I’ve stumbled across. On the music front if you weren’t a Paul Potts fan, you were goosed and I didn’t much fancy ‘Bloodsport 2’.
Anyway venturing deeper in to the bowels of this establishment, I happened across a home wares section and thereupon saved the mugs from a far than certain future and brought them ‘home’ to their final resting place at Mugspotters HQ.
I digress, so back the reason we’re here. Dulux. A household name and world-famous painting & decorating brand. Their products are sold both to the public via large DIY stores and also direct to businesses via their Dulux Decorator Centres.
Back in the day, their TV ads tapped into the emotions of all but the most hard-hearted of viewers as it’s star was a shaggy dog. And all the Mugspotters said..”Awwwww bless”.
The Old English Sheepdog first appeared in a 1961 advert but was taken off air in 1996 after 14 pooches had played the role. Television viewers fell in love with the cuddly breed’s long and soft coat, which covers its face and eyes. The Dulux dog, first played by an animal called ‘Shepton Dash’. (rhyming slang anyone?) It was so well known that this became a common nickname for Old English Sheepdogs and still remains to this day.
The clue is on the mug but this almost antique bric-a-brac dates back to 1991, celebrating 30 years of the Dulux mutt. Incidentally it reached it’s 50 years anniversary back in 2011.
As its now 2015, in “dog years” then, it must about 378-ish.
Craft: Unofficial Artisan recycling partners of Mugspotters.