Chocolatl

Download the Chocolatl PDF here.

If you’re not a fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, this will probably not mean too much to you.

I decided to create a couple of chocolatl bars and one of Lord Asriel’s notes (taken from the inside of the British collector’s edition of Northern Lights — the true title of The Golden Compass).

To create these wrappers, I researched the style in which candy bar wrappers were designed in the late 1800s – early 1900s. I then looked at Aztec motifs (although “chocolatl” is the Spanish spelling of chocolate — xocolatl is the correct Roman spelling of the Aztec word for chocolate). I picked the name Wilfred Calvert because the only coat of arms I liked was Calvert. My grandfather’s name was Wilfred. The text on the inside of the wrapper is from an old 1902 Hershey wrapper and modified to suit Lyra’s world:

SIR WILFRED CALVERT’S AUTHENTIC CHOCOLATL
is especially recommended for Adventurers, Athletes, Ladies and
Children. It is most sustaining, being amalgamated by special
process with the finest Fresh Milk.
Every hygienic care is taken in the selection and treat-
ment of the Cows which supply the milk. By the combina-
tion of the two substances of which it is composed, Chocolatl
and Milk, makes a delicious article of food.

The chocolate in the picture is actually Scharffenberger — I felt it had the right feel for the photo. The wrappers are actually taped around pieces of basswood. The pen is a cheapy fountain from Target. I reproduced the note with the fountain pen on cotton rag paper (that I may age later). I chose not to stamp it with the JORDAN COLLEGE LIBRARY text as I wanted the picture to feel as though it was taken from Asrial’s desk as he was munching on chocolatl and jotting down notes.

Hmm. . . I guess I should show you the bars. Here is the picture from Lyra’s world:

Chocolatl

And in our world (well, the unmodified photo at least):

Chocolatl