This slowly began to change in the 1840s, when we were proudly one of the first shops in the city to install large casement window panes, an innovation that ensured all of our wares had to look appealing while on display beneath a raft of gas lights. This rather-modern way of doing things began to shake social norms to their core: by introducing curious Piccadilly passers-by to the concept of ‘window shopping’ we began to draw in the masters and mistresses of the households themselves, rather than simply their servants.
By the Edwardian era, hampers themselves were becoming desirable too, and people began to keep and reuse them, and upload photos of them to Instagram (wait, perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves…)
Our new efforts with our appearance paid off rather spectacularly for one prisoner of war in Singapore during the Second World War. In the 1930s, we created a wine catalogue for the Coronation of George VI, which was covered in what looks like parchment emblazoned with a Royal coat of arms. One of our customers managed to keep a copy hidden during his incarceration; after the prison was liberated in 1941, the catalogue proved so impressive-looking that he managed to use it as a diplomatic passport to ensure an early release.
Lovely-looking as they are, our modern brochures probably shouldn’t be relied on in the face of wartime conflict, although they can be a real help when it comes to navigating fraught dinner parties and difficult-to-buy-for relatives. But you get the idea. The imagination is a powerful thing. And so Long Love #Fortnums exists as a celebration of your creativity, talent, and ability to re-use and re-love our packaging – whether it’s for negotiating a swift exit visa or creating something beautiful for your mantlepiece.