Myrurgia: 6 Figuras Artísticas para Exhibición de Articulos (title from cover). Barcelona: Myrurgia, n.d. (ca. 1933-1936). 4to, 6 gelatin silver prints, each approx. 17 x 11.2 cm (4.5 x 6.75 in) mounted to thick laid paper, photos near fine, bound together in toned and chipped wrpps., stapled. Cover with various Myrurgia stamps and signatures. Ex-libris: unobtrusive stamps inside front wrap and rear, pencil marks with registration numbers on cover, small paper label to spine.
The booklet is an internal document of Myrurgia S.A., the famous Spanish perfumer and cosmetics house, presenting stylized images of figurative pedestals and artistic displays for Myrurgia products. The company founder, Esteve Monegal y Prat was a sculptor; most of the bottles and presentation displays were created by him in collaboration with other artists. An exhibition of Myrurgia advertising at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC, 2003) argued for their innovative assimilation of the Spanish avant-garde and successful appropriation of orientalist themes.
The photographs may be attributed to Ramon Batlles, who produced most of the company’s advertising from 1933-1936. Although these are unsigned, the distinctive images and sepia tones match other Batlles campaigns for the perfumer, many of which can be seen in the collection of MNAC and the BNE. Batlles’ architectonic designs and rich tones are emblematic examples of Art Deco commercial photography.
Despite Myrurgia’s importance to the history of European decorative arts and design (and the ongoing branding of Spanish exoticism), OCLC and Archivegrid locate no original examples in North American collections.