Tin for Lefèvre-Utile biscuits (1899)

Mucha designed this container for Lefèvre-Utile, a Nantes-based manufacturer of biscuits.

Founded in 1846, Lefèvre-Utile became a household name for French biscuits. The company commissioned well-known artists to do their publicity. The initials 'LU', by which the company is better known worldwide, were first utilised by Mucha in 1896, with a poster and a company calendar for 1897.

The lower part of the circular barrel is decorated with a band of stylised water lilies. The middle is decorated with a frieze depicting six women reclining among flowers, each holding a plate of biscuits. A thinner band of stylised flowers frames the motif at the top on the tin. The lid is decorated with a medalion of water lilies.

The central motif prefigures Mucha's upper frieze illustrating folk tales for the Bosnia Herzegovina Pavilion at the 1900 Exposition Universelle.