A set of Art Deco period Italian postcards from the 1930s was presented to the Society by George Derham, a descendent of Frederick Derham, partner of Thomas Swallow. Swallow & Ariell Limited manufactured biscuits, cakes and the like in Port Melbourne for over 100 years.
The cards were for distribution via sales reps to Swallow and Ariell’s country customers and apart from their cheeky appeal, they carried an advertising message promoting Swallow’s Christmas fare of cakes and puddings. They were also used to advise customers of the rep’s next visit.
The signature on the cards indicates the illustrations are the work of Achille Lucien Mauzan (1883-1952). Born on the French Riviera, Mauzan moved to Italy in 1905 as an illustrator. In a busy working life spread between Paris, Milan and Buenos Aires he produced over 2,000 posters for the advertising, film and music industries and over 1,000 postcards, a few of which we are now lucky to have in our collection.
Swallow & Ariell overprinted the existing reverse side of the cards with their Christmas advertising message and also covered the “Produzione Italiana” within the stamp area.
It is interesting to note that the card below, probably the sauciest in the series, was the only one in the series not overprinted with Swallow’s message. Whether it was merely never circulated, or considered too risqué for distribution with Swallow’s name upon it, we know not.