Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Antique French BYRRH Advertising Postcards
Byrrh, a French wine-based aperitif made of red wine, mistelle and quinine, was created in 1855 by brothers Pallade and Simon Violet in the area of Thuir in France. The brothers branded the aperitif as a health drink to get around local aperitif producers' objection to competition with their established brands. The "hygienic drink" sold well in the early 20th century but didn't catch on in America.
Early Byrrh advertisements were designed by a variety of artists, some quite famous.
The early artwork on these postcards is colorful and varied, showing Byrrh being used as a tonic, usually by lovely ladies. The image above of the woman in pink is signed with the initials KS (K. Spillar) at lower right.
Advertisements for Byrrh can be found in older French films or in films set in the France of the past. In the US, one of the episodes of Mad Men, Season 4, featured a Byrhh advertisement. Byrrh is still available and is best served chilled.