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Bushells Tea: The Charmed Cup (1929)


This Bushells tea cinema advertisement from 1929 is a short narrative about a woman who has her tea-leaves read by a girlfriend who successfully predicts she will marry a handsome man. As the happy couple return from their honeymoon by cruise ship we see views of Sydney’s harbour foreshore, including an incomplete Sydney Harbour Bridge, then known as North Shore Bridge, as well as the Bushells tea factory at Circular Quay. They decide to always drink Bushells tea, as this was the tea that predicted their good fortune.

Curator’s notes

Cinema advertisements in the 1920s often took a narrative form. Divided into three parts, this advertisement was screened like chapters of a dramatic fairytale plot. Targeted at women, this advertisement captured the romantic and traditional notion that every woman’s wish was to marry a handsome man and live happily ever after. The advertisement links Bushells tea with the magical fulfilment of this woman’s dream.

Bushells tea is an iconic Australian product. In the early 1900s Australia became the largest tea drinking country in the world. The advertisement shows off the Bushells factory’s prominent location in the Sydney Harbour foreshore landscape.