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Find Guinness Original Advertising Memorabilia and Accessories

Since the early 20th century, Guinness has been producing witty and charismatic advertisements. These well-loved slogans and characters have featured on numerous decorative and practical items ever since. On eBay, you will find them all, from beer mats and labels, through to clocks and die-cast vehicles.

What designs were produced?

It was during the 1930s that the iconic toucan first appeared amongst other zoo animals, often seen balancing a pint of the dark Irish stout. These illustrated adverts continued right up to the 1980s, but it is the designs of the 50s and 60s which have become synonymous with Guinness collectables. New items are still produced and readily available and limited edition figurines are also sometimes released, but you should generally look out for:

  • Animals: Seals, tortoises, elephants, and even kangaroos were made into an array of ornaments sporting a Guinness slogan. Animals and birds were also seen with clocks, calendars, and picture frames, as well as the famous toucan himself often appearing as a lamp base or as the classic flying trio wall plaques.
  • Signs and posters: The original Gilroy adverts are available on metal signs or posters, and some originals can still be found. Reproductions are common but clearly sold as such and have wide appeal as decorative items.
  • Other items: Many tobacciana and breweriana items sport the Guinness slogans or complete adverts, and often feature the harp logo. Prices for these start relatively low, along with badges, mugs, and model vehicles. Kitchen items such as trays or cruet sets can also be found in the classic nostalgic style.
How varied is the price range of Guinness memorabilia?

Since the selection of material is vast, Guinness memorabilia prices vary dramatically. Guinness did make one-off prototype items, and so very rare items do come up and can command high prices. A sensible approach would be to only collect items you love so whatever price you consider appropriate is justified, rather than viewing the pieces as investments.

How do you spot a genuine collectable?

Hundreds of different Guinness collectables have been produced over the decades. Both the Carlton Ware and Royal Doulton figurines and pottery have been much copied, so it can be difficult to spot a non-original item. You can check specialist websites set up by Guinness memorabilia collectors which list all the known designs and those which have been found on the market as reproductions. There are even books available on the subject of “Guintiques”.

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