Liebig trade cards and Giuseppe Verdi

So many collectors in the world are on the lookout for Liebig trade cards that an official price list is updated and published regularly: the latest editions of the “Listino prezzi figurine e menù Liebig” came out in 2008 and 2014.

Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), the chemist who founded the famous German meat extract company, used these trade cards to advertise his business. In the early years, he had advertising and art mingle right on the front; later, the commercial message took over the entire back.

Published from 1872 to 1974, Liebig trade cards where printed by lithography (in black and white) or chromolithography (full-color). Among the widest range of subjects, Giuseppe Verdi made a number of appearances, starting in 1891.

The cards showcased in this gallery are a selection from different series: highlights from the composer’s life and works date back to 1893 and 1902; cards focused on the “Aida” are from 1891; those with scenes from “Falstaff” are from 1893; “Otello” was illustrated in 1895; “Il Trovatore” in 1905; “La Traviata” was included in Liebig products in 1909; and, finally, “Rigoletto” was part of a 1913 series titled “Verdi e le sue opere” (“Verdi and his works”).

Enjoy these glimpses from a different time, and perhaps a different world altogether.

The house where Giuseppe Verdi was born, in Roncole

Verdi’s first musical inspiration, in 1821

An 11-year-old Verdi plays the pipe organ in Roncole in 1924

Verdi on his debut night in Milan, in 1839

Giuseppe Verdi surrounded by the heroes of his most famous operas


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