Japanesque Trade Cards
With the opening of Japan to trade in 1854, the American
market was flooded with goods from the Far East. Later on, exhibits
of Japanese goods at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876 in Philadelphia
and the success of Gilbert and Sullivans operetta The Mikado
as well as New Yorks exhibit The Japanese Village,
both in 1885, exposed more Americans to Japanese wares and design.
Japanese novelty stores in major cities in the 1870s made goods
more accessible and cheaper for customers. American companies also
incorporated Japanese imagery in their advertising to cash in on
This selection of trade cards shows a wide variety of products being
advertised, using Japanesque illustration and characters.
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