Monday, 17 September 2012

Crème Eclipse, Lille

When freshly painted, this ghost sign with its bright yellow letters on a dark blue, almost black background would have been far more noticeable. These days I wonder how many people look above the trees and façades of Square Morisson in the northern French city of Lille and wonder what could have been advertised on this gable.

Actually this is not an easy one to decipher but it is still possible to read, on top, the name of a polish launched in 1881: Crème Eclipse.


The Crème Eclipse was manufactured by the Société Générale des Cirages Français, founded in 1881 in Lyon. Several kinds of polish were available under the name Eclipse to make both shoes and metals shine.

One of its catchiest slogans, used in the 1930s, was "La crème Eclipse éclipse tous les cirages" ("The Eclipse polish eclipses all polishes") but I doubt this is what was painted here. However it was certainly precised on this ghost sign that Eclipse was made with beeswax ("Le cirage à la cire").

Eclipse disappeared in the 1940s after the Société Générale des Cirages Français was acquired by Lion Noir, another manufacturer of polish.

There are several ghost signs in Lille for the Crème Eclipse, including one with the brand's logo made of a smiling sun and a crying moon... but that will be for later.

Location: Rue de l'Hôpital Militaire, Lille, Nord / Pictures taken in June 2012

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