Trade cards

This was a really interesting session for me as we got to look at some things from the collection that we have access to in the department. This was one of my favourite pieces from the collection. I was immediately drawn to it because of the shapes and colours.  I loved how each one was shaped into what was sold at each shop, I thought that this was a really creative and thought threw design. When I looked at it initially I wasn’t quite sure what it was, I had a few thoughts. To me it seemed as though it could have been a tags or perhaps some kind of business card?

After the sessions I went home and researched to see if I could find out more information about them. I found that most were made in the mid/late 19th century, and that they were in fact trade cards. So these were used by merchants and traders to give to their customers, which were usually made out of paperboard or thick paper as these ones were. They are made small enough so that they fit inside a pocket for easy distribution.