Anonymous, United States, (c. 1880-1890)
- Presented with the compliments of N.K. Fairbank & Co., lard refiners, Chicago & St. Louis
- [cc. 890], print on card stock
- 3 x 4.3 in. (7.6 x 10.8 cm.)
- Private Collection
In the United States in the 1870s, the rapid growth in manufacturing necessitated the need to build new markets for manufactured goods and maintain them. The Fairbank Co. successfully used the technique of a long series of trade cards advertising their lard products.
Familiar poetry, art, literature and famous people were all strategically adapted or punned in references to the Fairbank Co.’s products. The pig cherubs above are a parody of the Sistine Madonna (c.1513-1514) by Raphael (1483-1520), an oil on panel in the Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany.
About the Artist
The trade cards above are examples of the art of persuasion favored by the advertising planners at N. K. Fairbank & Co. They correctly understood the need to create and grow markets for their new and expanding product selection.
They also knew how to suggest and build on the often artificially created status and need implicit in a particular product or possession.
I have yet to discover any records of those responsible for either the art work or the ad designs and copy. Perhaps such records do exist, but because of this current lack of any reliable attribution, I have classified these trade cards as anonymous works.