Design: The image of the drowning girl's face, with her hair flooding out around her, is a theme that occupied much of 'Decadent' fine art from the early 1900s to the late 1920s. An obsession with innocence, physical beauty, sexual eroticism and occultic spirituality led artists of the movement to represent their pale heroines in various stages of depression and grief in neglected and dying gardens, or drifting slowly and elegantly downstream among swans and lilies. It was, in fact, a morbid celebration of the cult of death. Loosened hair symbolized a return to primitive abandon; colours were muted, misty and mystical.
History: Launched in 1922, Beltona was a product of the Murdoch Trading Company of London. It lasted into the 1950s. Alternate label scan (below) courtesy of collector Georg Richter of Germany.