Colecção Can the Can
Victorian Trade Cards da Real Fábrica de Conservas de Mattosinhos • Anna Held
Lopes, Coelho Dias & Cª Ltda
Matosinhos • Portugal
Size 5 cm x 8 cm
Victorian Trade Card
Victorian trade cards are an early form of collectible advertising. Trade cards originated in England in the 1700s with tradesmen advertising their wares. But the advent of lithography in the 1870s made it possible to mass-produce them in color, leading to a golden age from 1876 to the early 1900s when halftone printed newspaper and magazine ads became more economical. Trade cards typically had a picture on one side and an ad on the other. There were custom cards printed for specific products, and stock cards which could be used for any product. Trade cards were popular for medicines, sewing, and farm equipment, and a range of other products.
Helene Anna Held, better known as Anna Held, was a Polish-born French stage performer and singer who was not just renowned for her beauty and acting talents, but also very well-known for her love for kindling controversy. Blessed with delicate facial features, flawless skin, and a gorgeous figure, she was undoubtedly a very beautiful woman who could light up the stage with her very presence. She had a vivacious personality which added to her charms as a stage performer and won her several fans. As an actor she appeared in numerous comedies and musicals, performing all over Europe and the U.S. Her interest in the show business began quite early on in life—she was just eight when she started singing in the streets. As the only surviving child among her several siblings, she had a difficult childhood and the death of her parents while she was still young added to her miseries. However, she worked hard at making a career for herself and found her calling as a stage performer. Petite and charming, she was also a risk-taker who took on roles that other women of her times considered controversial. She eventually became involved with Florenz Ziegfeld and this association proved to be very beneficial to both the performers.