Is he, or isn’t he? – The curious case of the Whitbread lion badge
By Lewis, Jul 2 2017 01:12PM
Thanks once again to eBay, and in this case the highly-recommended seller lozyybabyy, we have acquired another undoubtedly rare item for the museum. But in this case, there is a bit of a question mark hanging over it: Is it something that really belongs in the Chandy Museum? Is the enamel badge we’ve just acquired really one that promoted Chandy? In short, is he or isn’t he a Chandy lion?
We just don’t know, and we’d love to hear from you if you can shed any light on this item.
It’s a small metal and enamel pin badge of unknown vintage depicting a cartoon lion holding aloft a banner that reads ‘WHITBREAD’, and around his neck hangs a pendant with the letter ‘C’ on it.
Why we think he might be a Chandy lion:
- Whitbread were the company behind the Chandy brand.
- Chandy was advertised with various cartoon lion images (albeit not one that looks exactly like this badge).
- The lion on the badge has similar colouring to Chandy lions (yellow fur, reddish mane and tuft at the end of his tail).
- The ‘C’ around his neck might stand for ‘Chandy’.
Why we think he might not be a Chandy lion:
- The big reason: If the badge is advertising Chandy, why doesn’t it say ‘Chandy’? Surely that would be the first thing it ought to do.
- He doesn’t look exactly like any known Chandy lion images
- He doesn’t perhaps look old enough. To be a genuine Chandy-promoting item, the badge would need to date back to 1974/5 at the latest, when the Chandy brand was withdrawn.
The truth is we really don’t know. So, if you can answer the question decisively one way or another, we’d love to hear from you. If he is confirmed as a Chandy lion, we’ll give him a new page of his own. If he’s confirmed as not being a Chandy lion, we’ll relegate him to more of a footnote.
In the meantime, I’ve added him to the bottom of the miscellaneous rare items page here.