Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ephemeral Beauty: Use Corticelli Silk

Click to enlarge.

So many of the trade cards in my ever-growing collection of ephemera are for thread.  Upon a recent visit, my mother was looking at a cross-section of my cards which are displayed on a stand on a table and remarked that most of them were advertising thread, or, as she said, "giant spools of thread."  Before my mother pointed it out, I hadn't really noticed the imbalance of thread-related cards versus others.  Medical quackery as a theme runs a close second.  There are almost as many cards for de-worming your children and strengthening your spleen.  I imagine it's because clothes weren't the toss-away items they are now, many were made in the home, and there was a greater need for and time for sewing.  In fact, it was an art unto itself where, today, unless you're a designer or on Project Runway, sewing is considered more of a chore than anything else.

Here's another thread-related card.  This one doesn't feature terrifyingly large spools of thread around which human children play.  This one boasts the second most popular thread motif, a pretty lady.  After all, the thread's target audience was the lady of the house (and her maid).  Showing an attractively clad woman, obviously the result of using said thread, makes a lot of sense.

This lady in her blue and crimson bonnet is adorned with a flounce of white silk over her floral-patterned gown.  In an ocher-gloved hand, she holds a spray of flowers.  She looks smugly out at us and says, "You can be as fabulous as I am."

Beneath the image, "Use Corticelli Silk."

The reverse reads:

Unequalled Corticelli Spool Silk,
Dealer in
Dry Goods, Carpets, Clothing,
175 Broad Street,  Eufaula, Ala.

The printer obviously believed in the late Nineteenth Century credo of, "The more fonts the better."

And, yes, somehow it does make me want to use Corticelli Silk.

Click to enlarge.

No comments: