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Trade cards and the magic lantern
part 2


This lovely card is one of a set
'Amusements Enfantins' (amusement of the children), issued by Au Bon Marche Perree-Lepeltier, La Ferte-Mace, Orne (France). The card is printed in full colours with gold and white margins. Printer’s mention on centre back: Paris – Imp. Lessertisseux, pass. Du Caire, 68 – 111, one of the printers-editors who also produced so many cards for Liebig and Au Bon Marche among others. Each card bears its own title. Size: 100 x 60 mm.
The same picture used for another French trade card titled 'Lanterne Magique'. Size: 105 x 73 mm. Advertisements on front and back for Chocolate Poulain; on centre back the printer’s name is mentioned too (L. Pacon, Paris). The back of this card gives a complete description of the Magic lantern and its use.

 The blue capital 'L' indicates that the card is one of a large series, probably comprising the complete alphabet.


Left: Another version without advertisement on the front.......

...... but on the back of the card.
Another card from the set 'Amusements Enfantins' (amusement of the children). Not a magic lantern but another optical toy is the subject of this card: the zoëtrope, invented by William Horner (also see the page Discs and Drums).

The card is advertising Chocolat Debauve & Gallais.

The above images have also been used on non-advertised cards that were printed on the back with an explanatory text. These may have been intended for teaching students. One of the cards is stamped with the text "ECOLE PUBLIQUE DE GARÇONS GIVORS", and a signature.

Old French trade card printed for CHOCOLATERIE FRANÇAISE, Chocolats et Cacaos superieurs, depicting a young itinerant lanternist carrying a magic lantern on his back and playing a musical instrument. Caption: LA LANTERNE MAGIQUE, PIÈCES CURIEUSES.
Size: 2,4 x 4,2 inches (6 x 10,5 cm).

Ladies and gentlemen! I show you the trick with the jack-in-the-box.

A French trade card for Magasins de la Samaritaine, Paris. The front says "A La Samaritaine Nouveautés Rue du Pont-Neuf". Nice magic lantern on the background.
Size : 4,2 x 2,1 inches (6 x 10.5 cm).

A similar trade card was made for an advertisement of Maison de la Belle Jardinière.

The text below the image, in French, is: 'ROBERT-HOUDIN TROUVERA EN LUI UN CONCURRENT REDOUTABLE'  (Robert-Houdin will find a formidable rival in him).


"La Lanterne Magique" card
with text on the back, published in France in the late 1800's by H. & Co. Paris.
Card #25
Size: 13 cm x 9 cm, (5 1/8" x 3 1/2").

This card from Chicorée a la Ménagère, Papier Grains de Café (coffee beans), shows some Jouets, toys: The magic lantern, a Dutch top, and a dicebox. The 'toupie hollandaise' turns out to be an old game at which a metal top has to make its way through a kind of pinball machine. You're never to old to learn!



Right and below: The revolving disk at the back of the original card and the other scenes on the 'screen'.

This beautiful card (size: postcard) is an old REPRO of the late 19th C. trade card from the French "Le Bon Marché" convenience store. This repro itself was produced in very scarce quantities in the mid 1980's and is very hard to find now. It contains a revolving disk with pictures as did the original trade card.

Magic lantern beginnings, showing a child with a magic lantern, casting shadow onto a screen, made for B. Legrand, Mons.

In 1912 the French chocolate company Lombart commissioned future-themed illustrated cards to be included with their confectionary. In the year 2012, they assumed, there should be Picturephone as means of communication. This card shows parents in France speaking to their son in an unspecified Asian country via such a picturephone. They assure their son that they’ll send him Lombart chocolates by way of aircraft soon.


One of a set of probably six trade cards, published by Liebig meat extract, depicting 'Kunstgewerbe' (Applied Art). This one with the subject 'Optik und Mechanik' shows a beautiful lady surrounded by optical and mechanical instruments including two magic lanterns.


Attractive mechanical trade card advertising the Peninsular Furnaces, Stoves and Ranges. Images of the many stoves manufactured by 'The Leading Stove Manufacturers of the World' are displayed on the screen on stage by means of a revolving disc at the back of the card.
Measures approx. 3 1/4" x 5 1/2" (8 x 14 cm).

Maison de la belle Jardinière. This French trade card is probably one of a series of twelve, one for each month. This one represents 'Décembre' (December), the month of sociability and presents.

Among the presents a beautiful Lanterne Carrée', made by the French manufacturers Lapierre Frères.

On the back an advertisement for 'Maison de la Belle Jardinière, Habillements, Tout faits et sur messure pour Femmes et pour Enfants' (Clothing, ready-made or made to measure for women and for children).

The card is printed by Lith. F. Appel, Paris and is signed in the left down corner with an entwined A and F.
Seizes: c. 4.5" x 3" (11.5 x 7.5 cm).
(Thanks to Jean-Philippe Salier, France, who contributed many French trade cards.)

Les Spectres (The Ghosts). This French trade card shows a very special magic lantern effect: a ghost illusion is created on stage by brightly illuminating the actor, who is concealed below the stage, by the strong light of a magic lantern. The image of the 'ghost' is reflected from a large, inclined transparent glass sheet that is invisible to the audience. From the auditorium people could swear to see a real ghost on stage. See also: 'How to raise a Ghost'.

On the back an advertisement for 'Le Café de Malt Kneipp, est la meilleure addition au café et supprime la chicorée, ' (Malt coffee, the best addition to coffee that does away with chicory).

(Probably) French trade card. No printers name; no advertisement on the back.

The boy projects the images from behind the translucent screen, thus hiding the lantern from the public.
c. 15 x 10.5 cm

See also: 'Phantasmagoria'.

French trade card. On reverse an advertisement for Chicorée extra A La Belle Jardinière, offered by Maison C. Beriot à Lille, c. 1880, 3" x 5" (7.5 x 12.5 cm).

       Lanterne Magique. French trade card. The screen is still blank, but could probably be printed with the advertisers name.       Movable trade card without a name of the printer and without any advertising.
Amusing English 5½ x 8¼" 'Hold this picture up to the light'-card for Brown and Polson's Corn Flour (First and Foremost). It was an advertising insert in an 1889 British magazine. Published by S. Hildesheimer & Co. Ld., London E.C., but printed in Germany.
On the back the mirror image of the picture that we see on the screen when the card is hold up to the light.

Universal Moviescope. Movable trade card depicting a magic lantern show at the ´Juvenile Theatre´. Several funny pictures on the revolving disc.

Attractive American Christmas trade card: A Moving Picture of Santa Claus. 'An endless reel of Christmas cheer, With love and kisses for you, my dear.' When the cardboard disc is turned to the left a Christmas Story appears on the screen: 'Now he's going to leave my dear, but if you're good he'll come next year.'

Printed by Campbell Cards, Elizabeth, N.J., Design 1916, Nr. 848-10., 13.5 x 9.5 cm.


Non-commercial French trade card published by the 'Commission de Préservation contre la Tuberculose en France'. 'Combattez la Tuberculose, Voyex ses alliés et ses ennemis'; Fight against Tuberculosis. Look at its allies and its ennemies. On the screen one of the 'allies' , le cracheur, the spitter.

La Tuberculose est u péril national, la combattre est un devoir patriotique. Tuberculosis is a national danger; it's a patriotic duty to fight against it.

11.8 x 10.8 cm.

The movable mouse card is signed 'Dick Vandé',  seizes 14 x 9 cm. The yawning negro card is probably a showmodel. A stamp 'RECLAME' marks the place for the advertising.

Trade card advertising Chocolat du Planteur. One of a set 'Les Jouets Anciens' (Vintage toys). It is entitled 'La Lanterne Magique'. French.
This circular movable card was published by 'Au Printemps, les magazins les plus élégant de Paris' in December 1927. It measures 20cm (cardboard handle included).

More trade cards.........
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Last update: 04-06-2021.
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