Paris: Imp. Hauducoeur [Printer], [ca. 1893]. Lithograph printed in light blue and black on thin card. 3.25" x 4.5" (irregular) approx. Verso blank. Very light stain at left edge, otherwise in fine condition. Near fine. Item #23269
A rare and early trade card from Louis Vuitton, the pale aqua checkerboard background of which alludes to Vuitton's iconic Damier pattern — which was developed just five years earlier to help combat (even then) numerous imitations and knock-offs. The card gives the addresses of the comany's iconic Paris store at 1, rue Scribe, which had opened in 1871; it also lists the firm’s second London store at 454, the Strand. Although the card was printed in Paris, it is in English (it advertises “Trunks and Bags”) and has an extremely early London telephone number (simply "Charing +"). Therefore likely produced exclusively for the London store. The address of the Vuitton workshops in Asnières-sur-Seine, now the home of the Louis Vuitton private museum, is printed across the bottom of the card. The emblem at the centre shows the French flag, the Union Jack, and the Stars and Stripes, which dates the card to around 1893, the year George Vuitton visited the United States for the first time and Vuitton luggage was displayed at the World’s Fair in Chicago. A decidedly ephemeral trade card from one of the most famous and enduring brands in history, documenting an early example of the signature visual identity that remains the cornerstone of the company's look to this day.