Sunday, February 10, 2013

Victorian trade card for Jose & Brown of Charlestown, Boston


This terrific Victorian trade card features an illustration of a Tom Thumb-type character riding a grasshopper and holding what appears to be a nail.1

While Tom Thumb sometimes rides a butterfly in folklore tales, I found far fewer examples of his involvement with grasshoppers. One I did come across: The 1940 Walter Lantz-produced cartoon short titled "Adventures of Tom Thumb Jr." features a grasshopper companion named Happy Hopper.

This trade card is advertising Jose & Brown — bread, cake and pastry bakers — of Boston's historic Charlestown District. That business has long since vanished, but this illustration and trade card are still standing the test of time.

Footnote
1. The image reminds me a little bit of this recently featured (and bizarre) illustration.

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