Friday, April 16, 2010


Mug 1. a drinking cup, usually cylindrical and with a handle, made of a heavy material and used for hot drinks.
2. a gullible person; dupe; fool (slang)
Mugshot. a photograph of someone's face, especially one taken for police records

An exhibition called Political Mugs caught my attention the other day, at the Museum of Brands in London. The items on display show our leaders of the last couple of centuries transformed into souvenir mugs, jugs, contemporary toys and tins, etc. 

In particular, since the 70s, political pottery caricatures have been increasingly popular in Britain, encouraged by the mimicry of the Spitting Image TV series. The Thatcher era saw Maggie squeakers, note pads, Acrobrats, toilet rolls, and even slippers on sale.

It's certainly an original take on  political history, but there is also something very satisfying in verifying that in contemporary Britain nobody is above getting their "mug" plastered on a tea cup.

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