This French lithograph has been amusing viewers for one hundred years. An advertisement for Liqueur Du Couvent de Ste. Barbe, it shows a devilish figure (perhaps the devil himself!) stealing some of the precious bottles of the liqueur from the distillery where it is made.
Open on the table is a book, the cover of which claims it contains the secret formula for the liqueur as created by Jehan Brochon in 1636, an artful way of calling attention to the liqueur’s long history, derivation and bona fides. The labels on bottles of the liqueur on the table further confirm this, saying (as translated from the French) that the formula for the liqueur was created by Jehan Brochon, Monk of the Third Order of St. Francois, on September 29, 1636.
The poster’s technique of using an intricately drawn, scene-of-the-crime tableau to advertise the liqueur is very clever. In sorting out the scene, the viewer learns that the liquor has a three hundred year-old pedigree and is coveted by the devil himself. The conclusion is obvious: this intriguing liqueur must be excellent and is definitely worth a try.
It's clear why this poster has stood the test of time and, like an excellent liqueur, has improved with age.
Be sure to check out the other fun vintage liqueur and aperitif posters which we offer.