What is this elaborate logo or symbol?
September 5, 2017 2:40 AM   Subscribe

Further to my letter-writing habit I've bought a number of sets of vintage writing paper and envelopes from eBay. Usually it's possible to get some approximate idea of when and where the paper was made, but my latest acquisition has me puzzled. The stationery in question came in a flat white cardboard box adorned only by a symbol incororating the letters HAS. Does anyone recognize this as the logo of a paper-manufacturer or retailer, or a symbol representing some other organisation or individual? Do the component parts of the symbol have a coherent meaning?

The paper is A4 size and about 100 gsm weight, in an off-white shade with a smooth 'wove' finish, and no watermark. The C6-sized envelopes (also off-white, with a grey tissue lining) have no marking on them either. Both me and the eBay seller are in the UK: presumably its being A4 paper in the UK suggests it dates from the '70s or later.
posted by misteraitch to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The symbol looks like a stylized depiction of the process by which paper is made. So it seems logical that this is indeed the manufacturer's logo.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:10 AM on September 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

My first impression of that logo is that it shows a boat in a lock. Since you're in the UK, I'd start looking for papermakers near rivers with locks or weirs.
posted by easily confused at 6:19 AM on September 5, 2017

To my eye, the illustration looks like a sewer, water supply, or irrigation valve discharging to a body of water. The crest and "HAS" suggest a department of Health (or Hygiene) And Sanitation.
posted by Weftage at 8:23 AM on September 5, 2017

Looks like it's from some kind of water organization, from the sprayer motif. Hydrological A_____ Society?
posted by scruss at 8:54 AM on September 5, 2017

OP, do I understand correctly that both the stationery and the envelopes are blank, and that the symbol is only on the box they came in?

If that is so, I agree with you that the symbol and "HAS" most likely relate to the manufacturer, supplier or retailer of the paper, not the end user of the stationery.
posted by beagle at 9:04 AM on September 5, 2017

It certainly appears as though water is involved somehow, but what of the fleur-de-lis and the shield?

beagle - yes, exactly, the symbol is printed on the top of the box and appears nowhere else. A picture of the box's contents (the paper is underneath the envelopes).

I suppose the paper is more cream than off-white, looking at it again.
posted by misteraitch at 10:31 AM on September 5, 2017

Looking at the picture of the envelopes and the pretty ribbons, it looks like it is intended to be personal stationery rather than for a business. If so, another possibility is that the customer's initials are HAS, that this is a coat-of-arms-type graphic they supplied, and that this box was supplied as second sheets without imprint. Fleurs de lis appear on more coats of arms than not, so I wouldn't read much into that.
posted by beagle at 11:00 AM on September 5, 2017

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