April Showers

April Showers

Promotional bookmark for Scottish Widows, 1911-1915

Our ‘From the Collections’ this month is one of a set of twelve bookmarks featuring designs by the artist Walter Crane.  They were produced for Scottish Widows between 1911-1915.

Each of the bookmarks features a portrait of a couple engaged in an activity reflecting the month of the year.  January’s bookmark shows the couple ice skating, June shows them playing tennis and so on.

This one from April shows the gentleman holding an umbrella over the lady, sheltering her from the April showers.

It is thought that the man featured on this bookmark is actually a self-portrait of Crane – he seems to be carrying an artist’s drawing case.

The bookmarks were an innovative marketing tool, first adopted by Scottish Widows in the 1890s.  The Crane series was the last to be issued.  They are now highly collectable.

Crane’s association with Scottish Widows' dates back to 1888, when he designed the company’s ‘Pegasus’ emblem, which you can see on the Scottish Widows’ history page.

Return to From the collections to take a  look at our other featured items.