Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Poster - Peek, Frean & Co's Biscuits London
  • Peek, Frean & Co's Biscuits London
    Kennington, Thomas Benjamin, born 1856 - died 1916
  • Enlarge image

Peek, Frean & Co's Biscuits London

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (printed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1891 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kennington, Thomas Benjamin, born 1856 - died 1916 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by M. J. Franklin

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case Y, shelf 69, box A

Object Type
During the 1880s and early 1890s a number of leading manufacturers were using fine art as a source for their advertising campaigns. Biscuit manufacturers often decorated their smaller gift tins with images after such painters as Landseer, Walter Goodall and Gainsborough, as well as drawing on well-known art works in their designs for advertising posters. It is likely that posters such as this example were actually framed like paintings and hung inside the grocers' shops.

Thomas B. Kennington (1856-1916) was a well-known portrait and genre painter. He regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1880 and 1916. He particularly admired the contemporary French school of painting, a fact reflected in his interest in depicting the urban poor as well as in producing portraits and other works documenting the lives of the affluent. He also painted a number of images of children.

Design & Designing
This poster was derived from Kennington's painting The Toy Shop, of 1891. It is an adaptation of the main section of the painting, which actually showed the figures three-quarter length, looking at a toy shop window in a busy street. Besides the addition of lettering, the key details that were changed were: the replacement of the child sucking its thumb with a child eating a biscuit, the extension of the shop window, and the replacement of the toys with biscuit tins.

Subjects Depicted
Peek Freans was started by James Peek and George Hender Freans, who opened their first factory in Dockhead, London, in 1857. By 1861 they were exporting biscuits to Argentina, Australia, Egypt and India. At this time most biscuits were supplied to retailers in large tins and then sold loose. The labels were therefore for display in the shop, identifying the types of biscuit.

Physical description

Poster depicting children looking at biscuits in shop window

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (printed)


ca. 1891 (printed)


Kennington, Thomas Benjamin, born 1856 - died 1916 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph on paper


Height: 611 mm, Width: 831 mm

Object history note

After a painting by Thomas Benjamin Kennington (born in Grimbsy, East Lincolnshire, 1856, died in 1916); issued by Peek Frean & Co., London

Descriptive line

Poster by Thomas Benjamin Kennington advertising Peek Frean & Co. Biscuits. Great Britain, ca. 1891.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Biscuit manufacturers were among the first to introduce packaging and branding to distinguish their products in the grocery shops. This poster was adapted from Thomas Kennington's painting `The Toy Shop', exhibited at The Royal Academy in 1891. Tins of biscuits, covered with labels, have replaced the toys in the window. [27/03/2003]


Printing ink



Subjects depicted



Prints; Eating; Labels & packaging; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.