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The Blushing Peony

[The Blushing Peony]
Original double-sided handbill (28 x 21.5 cm). Psychedelic lettering printed on both sides in two colours on a bright pink stock. San Francisco: Hillis Publicising, 1966.

A colourful handbill publicising The Blushing Peony, "Your Local Friendly Schizophrenic Store", a hippie clothing boutique which opened at 1452 Haight Street in the summer of 1966. Haight-Ashbury is a district in San Francisco known as the birthplace for hippie counterculture. Members of Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin all lived in the district together with the community anarchist group the Diggers and poet Allen Ginsberg.

The handbill lists what goods you might find at the boutique including stuffed animals, flowers, ponchos and kaleidoscopic colouring books. The shop hosted a Haight-Ashbury Fashion Show on February 2, 1967, which made the society pages of San Francisco papers, but it was busted in March for selling a poster depicting men and women in Kama Sutra sexual positions, the publicity from which resulted, predictably, in many more copies of the poster being sold.

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