Saturday, March 15, 2014

Object of the Day: A Model Form

This is certainly one of the most clever trade cards in my collection. It’s a testimonial to the ingenuity of Victorian advertisers. The card for corsets boasts a lovely chromolithograph of a smartly dressed lady of the 1880s. After all, she has a “model form.” But, there’s more to it than that. You’ll notice that the card asks us to “Hold to light and see how she acquired it.”

And, when you do, you see the poor lass’ undergarments. She opens her eyes in shock as you gaze at her foundation.

It’s a simple trick really. On the reverse, printed, in reverse, is the image that we’re seeing when we hold it up to the light. Simple though it may be, it’s really quite ingenious and a sneaky way of showing off the product. I’d also like to point out that this card was overprinted by a retailer of the corsets—our friends at the 
Bee Hive Store.

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