Published : 04/2/2015 18:49:02
Categories : Haberdashery Collectibles
There is huge diversity in the Fil Au Chinois calendars. The oldest that I have found dates back to 1886, but it is possible that they go back even further, as the brand exists since 1847.
These calendars were offered to haberdashery stores to distribute to their clients. This is why there were often many versions of the same calendar: some were printed with the name Maison Vrau, the owners of the Fil Au Chinois brand, some took the name of the shops they were distributed to.
One of the particularities of Fil Au Chinois was to offer balls called “Au Fil d’Or” (The Golden Thread): a small bit of golden thread indicated the start of the ball. This was quite revolutionary at the time and is often mentioned on the calendars.
From the turn of the 20th century, the Fil Au Chinois pocket calendars all had roughly the same format (4.2 x 7.5cm). It is interesting to note the evolution of the typography and décor surrounding the Chinaman.
If you have in your possession other versions of these calendars, I would be delighted to receive photos and share them here.
Note the calendar from 1934 for Petitjean, here in Versailles which I remember well, unfortunately no longer in existence.