Lipton’s Tea was founded by grocer, marketing genius and tea merchant extraordinaire Sir Thomas Lipton (1848–1931) . Lipton’s parents ran a grocery store in Glasgow and on his return from travelling in 1870, he helped in the family store. The shops were successful and soon there was a chain of shop. Tea was a best selling product and Sir Thomas saw huge potential in tea and in 1888 he not only bought the tea he bought the tea estates in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He used modern methods to make the gathering and distribution more efficient. He was a man of first which included selling loose tea direct to the public and was the first to start selling bags. Lipton’s Tea also became popular in the United States.
Lipton’s Tea enamel advertising signs were part of many advertising and marketing strategies used to promote the tea. Although Lipton’s Tea was advertised with a number of slogans including “Direct from the tea gardens to the teapot” most Lipton’s Tea enamel advertising signs were simple just using the words Lipton’s Tea and sometimes Agent for Lipton’s Tea. They were typically rectangular and usually had white lettering on green, and sometimes white lettering on a blue background. Lipton’s Tea received a number of Royal Warrants and these are often seen on the signs.
The examples shown give a good indication to main size and varieties of the Lipton’s Tea Advertising Signs produced. Also the examples show various conditions of the signs. As with most antiques and collectables, enamel signs in excellent condition with little enamel loss achieve the highest prices at auction.