Sunday, June 15, 2014

Object of the Day: A Smorgasbord of Victorian Ephemera!

As you know, the majority of the trade cards in my collection have been stripped (not by me) from the Victorian albums which served to protect them since the Nineteenth Century. Most of the others lifted out of the album neatly, sometimes leaving behind a bit of the page on the reverse, still stuck to the unbelievable strength of Victorian glue.

This one, however, it seems, didn’t lift out so well. It not only took a chunk of the album page with it, but also two other cards in their entirety and a fragment of one more. And, I’m glad that it did!

On one side, we have a trade card which boasts a portrait roundel of a grim young miss. Maybe she’s chilly. Her little yellow shrug isn’t covering her very well and someone’s shoved a pansy into her décolletage. Perhaps she’s sour because her hat is too heavy, or maybe the rose still has its thorns or the feather is tickling her. Or…maybe she doesn’t know why she’s on a trade card for lawnmowers.

Behind her, a landscape depicts a horse pulling some sort of Nineteenth Century farm machine called the Deering Binder. Against the frame of dogwoods which sets of the two images, we can see that the card is “Compliments of William Deering & Co. Grain and Grass Cutting Machines, Chicago, U.S.A.”

And, then…

On the other side, we have two other cards. 

The first features a sprig of yellow roses around a moonlit landscape. It says simply:

No Cure! No Pay!! – Sold by 

Munger & Gillespie, Hazen, Ark. 

Well, that seems fair.

But, wait! There’s more!

Next to the Certain Chill Cure, we have a card for J.&P. Coats’s Best Six-Cord Thread. It features the usual depiction of a ruddy-cheeked lass which seemed to be favored by the folks at Coats. This time, she’s wearing an early version of one of Bette Davis’ hats from “
Dark Victory.”

It’s a veritable extravaganza of Victorian ephemera! In my best 
Tim Gunn voice, I’ll say, “Thank you, Glue.”

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