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).