Félix Potin Calissons Box Top

Cardboard box top for Calissons from Félix Potin, Paris, France. Circa 1880 to 1910.

Price:  $17.00           Size:  About 8 and 1/2 x 3 and 3/4″

For the collector of antique items from the French company Félix Potin or for the collector of antique pastry ephemera, in general:   A cardboard box top from a box of calissons. A calisson is a french pastry with a distinctive shape that’s made from ground almonds – below are some beautiful examples:

And how nice that this box top has hung around this long, over 100 years and counting. Imagine the lovely presentation the pastries had made as a gift for someone, or just as a treat for the one who bought them. The date of the item is estimated to be from around 1880 to 1910 due to its gorgeous Art Nouveau style border. In the center is displayed an aerial view of the cookie factory that was located in La Villette, Paris, in the 19th arrondissement. The weight of the box, or perhaps just the pastries, was 500 grams or just over one pound. Scrawled across the top is,  “guides de la machine”  (machine guides) and another word, difficult to decipher. Whether this was somehow related to the factory (maybe written by someone that had worked there) or is evidence that the box had held small machine pieces after the cookies were gone, or is from something completely unrelated, we may never know.

Below, a wonderful article clipped from The Wichita Price Current dated October 30, 1899 about Félix Potin. Bravo, Félix!

Sources:  Félix Potin. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%A9lix_Potin (accessed October 23, 2020).

“images of calissons” Google.com search (accessed October 23, 2020).

“The Biggest Grocer’s Shop In The World.” The Wichita Price Current (Wichita, KS) October 30, 1899. Monday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

To Peter From Elizabeth

Postcard, unused, undivided back. May 25, 1907.

Price:  $7.00

A twin of the beauty in the prior post, it seems. 😉 The sender wrote:

“May-25-07.   Hello Pet. bet you cant take my picture and make it look like this. Elizabeth”

This woman is Elizabeth, right? Well, maybe from another lifetime. (Who could not relate to our sender’s wish to be a knock-out beauty from a different era?) The artist’s rendition reminds me of the French Aristocracy, maybe Marie-Antoinette, that particular blue of her gown, the powdered hair and complexion, the hat full of ostrich feathers…..

Addressed to:   “Mr. Peter. Meutnech – Jr., Ulster Hieghts, Ulster Co., N. Y.” 

Surprisingly, we didn’t find either Peter Jr. or Sr. in Ulster Heights or Ulster County, though there may well be a different spelling of the name in city directories and census records that we hadn’t thought of.

To Max Lutzner in NYC 1903

Postcard, undivided back. Postmarked from Goppingen, Germany, February 5, 1903. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $7.00

Another one in German. I can’t decipher the handwriting for this one either (Jeesh!) But we do know that it was sent to:

“Mister Max Lützner. 334 Est. 41 Street. New York, Amerika”

Max Lutzner was found in the city directories at 334 E. 41st in 1899.

Source:  Trow’s General Directory of the Boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx, City of New York. Vol. CXIL, for 1899. p. 806. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.