No dates [c. late 19th c.]. String. 4to oblong; [44pp]; thick grey board with three stab-holes tied with black string; black construction or sugar-paper leaves; 264 chromolithographed trade cards pasted-in, in sets of six per page; edge-chipping to wrapper and leaves, some bumping of corners, trade cards have been pasted-in with the colorful face exposed, a few cards have trimmed borders; cards near fine, mounted on very good plus leaves. Very good +. Item #946
A well-kept and neatly organized collection of French trade cards. Of the 264 trade cards pasted into the scrapbook style album, 246 are from the Paris department store, “Au Bon Marche”; 4 are marked “Pharmacie Normale, 19, Rue Drouot, Paris”; 2 cards are from “Maison de la Belle Jardinière”; 5 from “Au Petit St. Thomas”; one from “A la Ville de St-Denis, Grands Magasins de Nouveautes”; and 6 are unidentified as to source on face, but fit into the trade card picture set. Au Bon Marche started their card distribution to children of their patrons in the 1850s. The cards were brightly chromolithographed by at least two identified printers, J. Minot & Cie of Paris, identified also by their stylized lettermark, JMC, and F. Appel, Paris, whose lettermark was a stylized AF. As their advertising campaign grew, other Parisian stores followed their lead, and some used the same sets as Au Bon Marche. Of the many chromo sets produced by the printers for collection, a few are identified by printed titles on the face of the card. For the store, Au Bon Marche, the following sets are identified, followed by the number of cards collected into this album: Bal costume, costume ball (1), Belle Jardinière, the beautiful garden (4), Cadet Roussel, aka Cadet Rousselle, a satirical song about a French baliffe (6), Exposition Universelle de 1889, the World’s Fair held in Paris in 1889 (5), Jardin d’Acclimatation, a Parisian children’s amusement park opened in 1860 (6), Jouets, children’s playthings and games (16), Musee, museum or art gallery (4), and l’Ombre, shadow play (9).