The sense memories I have of delicious, soul soothing chocolate go back to some of the earliest memories of my childhood, when I would anxiously await my grandfather’s arrival from work each day, so looking forward to the tiny chocolate he would give me as soon as he walked in the door. I also remember the smell of my grandmother’s devil’s food cakes wafting through the house, warming the air with that unforgettable scent, the corners of my mouth still chocolaty from the biggest joy ever… getting to lick the mixing bowl and paddles clean after the velvety batter was poured into the buttered and floured cake pans. It’s a wonder I didn’t have a mouthful of cavities!
There’s something about chocolate that tempts us, and in the original vintage chocolate posters currently in the Ross Art Group gallery, the temptations begin as early as 1895. Below I’ve listed my 5 favorites…
#1 – Compagnie Francaise des Chocolats et des Thes by Steinlen, 1895
Steinlen is known for his depictions of children and cats. Compagnie Francaise de Chocolats et des Thes, advertises tea and chocolate in this very rare poster, which depicts Steinlen’s own wife and daughter. While his wife enjoys a cup of hot tea, his daughter hugs a big cup of drinking chocolate close to her (protecting it from her cat perhaps?), spoon in hand, ready to dig in. An endearing early chocolate poster.
#2 – Chocolat Pailhasson, Anonymous Artist, c1910
Children fighting over chocolate, a classic image. Whether brothers, best friends or both, kids will be kids, and reaching for the dropped chocolate bar is clearly the priority over the dropped hat! Think they observed the “five second rule” in 1910?
#3 – Cacao Poulain by Cappiello, c 1920
“Le Cacao Poulain Inonde le Monde” or “Cocoa Poulain Floods the World”…a Cappiello poster printed around 1920, asking consumers to taste and compare this first French brand. Cappiello is known for his whimsical characters, boldly set against a solid dark background. It’s melty and there’s obviously plenty to go around.
#4 – API Chocolate – Mexican Hat, by Di Lullo, 1950
Italian chocolate? Yes, please! A beautiful Italian mother c1950 in a sombrero (why?), happily showering chocolates upon her healthy happy baby, cradling a giant chocolate bar with a big chocolate smudge across his round face …pure happiness. My grandmother would have approved, I’m sure of it!
#5 – API Chocolate – Woman, Anonymous Artist, 1955
Just five years later, API released this more seductive chocolate poster, depicting a beautiful woman so completely swept up in her love for their chocolates that she is in pure bliss. Head thrown back, eyes closed, shoulder exposed, hugging so many chocolates and candies in towards her that the rest fall out of her arms and down past her skirt twisting in motion. I’ll have what she’s having!