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Grolier Club Exhibitions


Christmas Tree Grove … space for store ad. 1936.

This is a rare mechanical that combines the benefits of the volvelle with the slice book format. Each of the three tabs on the periphery turns a wheel which shows either a head, torso, or legs. Combine them to create a fantastical character through the die-cut window. This colorful Christmas-themed volvelle is intended to be given as a promotion by the business whose name would be printed on the space provided. Hard to say if the patent applied for was ever granted.

Season’s Greetings: Where tires are a business—Not a side line. KS: Haysville Service Station, [ca. 1940].

This colorful pop-up advertisement and holiday greeting card gave the recipient a mirror tucked into a folder with the gas station’s name and slogan printed on it. I assume the card, with a breakable promotional gift, was hand-delivered to customers and not put into the mail.

Whoever elaborates in retelling the story of the Exodus, is praiseworthy. Philadelphia, PA: Barricini Chocolates, 1958.

Barricini candies are Kosher for Passover. Using this promotional sleeve, the order of the Seder (the ritual meal) is shown one-by-one through the die-cut hole when the inner card is pulled up. The meaning of the Passover symbols is shown on the reverse.

Seder-ama: The Picture Seder Guide. NY: Washington Heights Federal Savings and Loan Assoc., [ca. 1960].

Another helpful guide one would keep on hand, especially through the week of Passover. The Passover Haggadah, meaning “order,” is essential to the Seder, the ritual dinner that commemorates the freeing of the Jews from Egyptian bondage. The Haggadah instructs the congregants specifically how to conduct the dinner. The colorful volvelle gives fifteen steps of the Seder in the die-cut holes, with an abbreviated explanation of the holiday symbols and story of Exodus on the reverse.

Holiday Decorating 2015: Limited Edition. Fort Worth, TX: Pier 1 Imports, 2015.

Product catalogs are ephemeral, made to be tossed when done. Some will discard them without looking at them at all. Pier 1’s 2015 holiday catalog, with five pop-ups and paper engineered by Bruce Foster, surely got at least one look-through. Keeping the product, premium, or promotional item in the hands of the consumer is an advertising goal.