Thursday, June 30, 2011

174. Carnival Memento: 1909 MANILA CARNIVAL TICKET

TICKET TO RIDE, AND MORE! A rare example of a 1909 Manila Carnival general entrance ticket issued by the 'taquillera' at the gate. 1909.

So well-received was the first Manila Carnival of 1908 that a second Carnival just had to be organized the first year. Director General G. A. Reilly noted, “The Carnival of 1909, in presenting itself to the Orient, needs no more substantial guarantee of success than the truly wonderful record left behind by the Carnival of 1908”.

To give the second Carnival a fresh sense of visual identity, an illustrator was commissioned to create a logo for the Manila Carnival of 1909, which was cascaded to all sorts of printed materials and collaterals. The logo shows three Carnival symbols of revelry—a court jester and two masked female revelers, one in a Gibson Girl hat, the other in a native baro, to symbolize the unity of East and West. Below the smiling jester is the great seal of Manila. A ribbon carried the text “The Philippine Carnival”, festooned on top with coconut and anahaw leaves. The date of the event is on a crest between the 2 female figures: February 1909, Manila.

The artist has discreetly inscribed the illustration with the letters “HX” inscribed in an ovoid, below the Filipina masked figure. He may have been Howard Hedden, an American who illustrated for national publications like The Philippine Magazine in the first decade of the 20th century.

The small 2 x 3 in. paper ticket featured here, printed with green and red colors, repeats the design elements of the logo although they have been compressed and rearranged to fit the vertical portrait format. This paper ephemera, now over a hundred years old, is a rare memento of our country’s finest hours, when the world converged in Manila to see the a grand spectacle never before seen in the Orient.

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