Guinness Collectors Club
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Welcome to the GUINNESS® Collectors Club website!

The collecting of GUINNESS® memorabilia is a fascinating pastime. An abundance of advertising material has been produced on behalf of this wonderful brand, some of it dating back to the 18th century. And with so much material to find, it's hardly surprising that new and previously unseen 'guinntiques' turn up on a regular basis. Some worth pennies/cents, others thousands of pounds/dollars. You just never know - and that's the fun and excitement.

Many collectors limit their collection to a certain area - Waiter Trays or Playing Cards perhaps. Others take the plunge and acquire all they come across bearing the famous brand name 'GUINNESS'.

And why not... you can always trade your unwanted GUINNESS® items for a 'guinntique' more suited to your own collection!

But where to start? Browse through some of the links on this site and register free of charge. And when you're ready to take your hobby to the next level, subscribe to the GCC and we'll provide all the help and support you'll need.

New! eCard Gallery!

eCards are free online greeting cards that you can personalize and send to friends, family and loved ones. Choose from a selection of wonderful GUINNESS® related images and send your card today or on your selected future date. Registered users may even choose to receive an annual reminder so those important occasions are never forgotten again!

New! Beermat / Coaster Gallery (UK & Eire Issue) and now Export too!

The GCC Galleries has for some time included the most comprehensive pictorial gallery of UK & Eire issue Guinness beermats. Spanning 7 decades and providing some 1398 high quality images, it remains a significant addition, greatly assisting our membership when attempting to identify individual mats.

Well, the long-awaited Export Gallery has now been added! Currently boasting 655 mats across 5 different Continents, this is an intriguing insight into the different GUINNESS® advertising campaigns used around the world over the past 6 decades.

For those members who refer to the British Beermat Collectors Society reference numbers, these too have been added. You can even search for individual mats in both the UK & Eire and Export galleries by just entering the BBCS number!

Following this addition, there are currently 5721 Guinness Collectables in 70 wonderful galleries so there's never been a better time to subscribe to the GCC!

NewsIn The News

Original Guinness Gilroy oil paintings found!

Exciting news on the Guinness collectables front is the discovery of around 35 original oil on canvas Guinness adverts, measuring 36 inches by 22 inches and dating from the 1930s to the late 1950s, all signed by Gilroy. They have come originally from the S H Benson Advertising Agency archive and are even unknown to the Guinness archivists.

Although many are well known to us in their finished form as posters, about 10 are images never seen before. For example there is a set of three dated 1950, with flying toucans over London incorporating scenes of St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Nelsons Column. Another set of three US designs depicting toucans flying past the Chrysler Building NY, Golden Gate Bridge SF and the Empire State Building NY. A further set of three shows scenes of the loading of a bomber and a submarine. All these original paintings were submitted to Guinness for approval to become posters and although many didn't make final selection they all have Bensons stickers attached.

This type of Guinness artwork is very rare. Even some of the well known poster images are slightly different to these canvases. David Hughes has put together a 39 page A5 spiral bound booklet as a follow-up to our comprehensive release 'The Guide To Guinness Collectables' in which some 35 of these canvases are illustrated. It also contains over 250 new Guinness collectables illustrated and described. To obtain a copy of this limited edition booklet for £14.00 plus £2.00 p&p, please contact David Hughes at phim.finch@btinternet.com. View 3 of the posters here.

Tipplefair set to run and run....

Good news. As you may know the event was to cease after 2011. However, the Pub History Society has now taken over the running of the event and it will take place in August in conjunction with the Peterborough beer Festival. For further details, visit www.tipplefair.org.uk.

Mat collectors busy again....

Once again a new set of beermats featuring drawings of pub frontages has been released for the Irish Market. Some new pubs have also been added from Dublin, Cork and Galway and the current total known so far is a whopping 79. What a pub crawl! NF.

What name would you give to a baby Kangaroo?

Mein Gootness - Mein Kampf!

The Royal Naval vessel H.M.S. Pelican served with distinction throughout the Second World War, proudly claiming involvement in the sinking of a number of U-Boats. It was not all plain sailing however, the ship itself suffering major damage during an air attack in 1940.

Despite all this, it seems the crew still found time to produce their very own form of propaganda! I recently came across this wonderful Xmas Card, produced on behalf of H.M.S. Pelican. Inside of card reads 'Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year from H.M.S. Pelican. With acknowledgments to a famous Guinness poster.' NF.

A nice little item from the 60s comes to light....

I came across this little item that I had not seen before. A plastic torch, manufacturer unknown, but the label dates it to the early 1960s. Measuring 13cm in height, the bottle top unscrews for access to light the bulb and the bottle base unscrews for the battery compartment. View item. NF.

Tough to find a Guinness in the USA following WW2...

I recently made another addition to my collection of US magazine adverts. I found this one worthy of the Newsdesk because it makes reference to the end of the Second World War. Click to view. NF.

New-release playing cards in Poker Set....

A new Guinness Poker Set containing 2 newly-released packs of Guinness Playing Cards is available through Argos. The item can be found on page 1533 of the Argos catalogue, item number 024/8831. Their RRP is £9.99.

Millennium Collectables set to lose license... but they're going out with a bang!

Following the release of the incredible 250th Anniversary Clock last year, it looks as if our old friends at Millennium Collectables are set to lose the license for Guinness figurines this year. But at least they are going out on a high with two great Royal Doulton figurines to add to their high quality range of Guinness Collectables.

The Guinness Harpist and The Topiary Sealion figurines will be produced between April & September 2010 and anyone who is interested and not already on their mailing list can telephone them on 01636 703075 or send an email to mail@millenniumcollectables.co.uk.

The amazing rota-perpetuum.... rotates by itself!

I recently came across an item that I had not seen before. A wonderful back-bar/shop window advertising display called the rota-perpetuum.

The item was still in its original packaging, complete with the instruction leaflet and was produced in 1970.

The '6 million Guinness' advertising band is interchangeable with an alternative 'Give Him A Guinness' band. NF.

Surprising what a house clearance can turn up...

As a result of a house clearance, a member of the Club was lucky enough to come across these two great items:

The first is a menu from Park Royal, produced for the leaving lunch of a member of the Advertising department, Denise Sakula. Dated 28th October 1947, the front displays a spoof on the Gilroy zoo animals showing them crying. Inside is a rhyme and signatures from approximately 60 people including Edward Guinness, Peter Cunningham (who became MD) and Des O'Brien (who famously captained Ireland to win the Grand Slam in Rugby Union) to mention a few.

The second item is an example of the brown hard back Guinness Guide Book to Dublin Brewery. dated 1939. Not so uncommon you say? Well, this example was found to have a pencilled drawing by John Gilroy, on the inside back cover, of 'Dan the waiter at Jammets' (a restaurant in Dublin). This adds cachet and value to an otherwise common item.

A rare First Day Cover to commemorate the World's First Hovercraft Service...

Site visitor Henry Law, from Malaysia, kindly sent in a copy of a letter, sent by A.W.Fawcett to Guinness Exports Ltd, Liverpool, regarding the inauguration of the World's First Hovercraft Service, dated the 27th July 1962. View First Day Cover and letter (in new window).

This really is a 'piece of cake'...

The GCC received an unusual enquiry...

My father in law gave my late husband a piece of cake and a small bottle of sherry and was told us to keep it until May 2006.

The two items came with documentation, headed Guinness Exports Ltd., and which states the slice of cake is part of 6cwt cake cut into 3000 pieces. Could you provide further information please?

The Guinness Archives in Dublin were kind enough to provide the answer...

This is a nice piece of Brewery history. A.W. Fawcett (who was quite a character) was the Head of Guinness Exports in Liverpool throughout the 40s and 50s. Among the unusual publicity ideas he came up with (he was also responsible for the Atlantic Bottle Drop in 1959), was the ordering of a 5 tier cake as part of the centenary celebrations of Guinness Exports in 1956. The decorative work on the cake 'expressed the overseas interests of the company and traces the history of travel from galleons to space ships'!

The bottom two tiers of the cake was cut into 3,000 pieces and sent to overseas GUINNESS customers along with a photograph of the entire cake. The top 3 tiers were hermetically sealed in metal containers and opened after periods of ten, twenty five and fifty years ie 1966, 1981 and 2006.

Therefore, most likely, this lady has a piece of the bottom two tiers.

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Gilroy Was Good For GuinnessGilroy Was Good For Guinness By David Hughes (ex Guinness brewer).

The lost artwork for Gilroy’s Guinness adverts has been found in the USA. Over 300 signed oil paintings of the classic posters, many never been seen in public before.

This new book has Gilroy’s full biography for the first time, including many family pictures. The canvases, are a revelation, showing toucans flying in New York, Moscow, pre war Germany in 1936, and London. There are new animals such as rhino and zebra, blue whales and squid. Gilroy painted golf courses and classic car calendars, the 1948 London Olympics and many more. Visit David's website for more info and to place an advanced order.