Note: This object is a derogatory depiction of a particular cultural group. Such depictions are not condoned by Museums Victoria which considers them to be racist. Historical distance and context does not excuse or erase this fact.

Cardboard advertising fan. Issued by Melbourne firm Guests in the late 1950s and early 1960s to promote their Golliwogs biscuits. It was part of the contents of the Guests Golliwogs Biscuits showbag.

This example was collected new by the original owner from the Royal Brisbane Show (also known as `Ekka', short for `Brisbane Exhibition'.)

Guests were taken over by Arnotts Biscuits soon after this fan was made. The biscuits were produced under the Arnotts brand name until the mid 1990s.

Physical Description

Thin cardboard fan with a gollywog's head printed on the front. Below is a printed red spotted bow tie, and a blank area to use as a handle. The product name is printed around the hair, and across the bow tie. The back of the fan is blank.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This fan is significant due to its links to Gollywogs Biscuits, produced by Guests Biscuits from the mid 1950s until November, 1962, when the company merged with Arnotts Biscuits. Arnotts continued to manufacture the biscuits until the mid 1990s, when the name was changed to Scalliwags, but remained in the shape of a Golliwog. They were finally discontinued by the late 1990s, when golliwogs went out of favour around the world in all kinds of commercial areas, from toys to children's books to foodstuffs, as they were perceived as being an inherently racist stereotype.

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