[Avon] California Perfume Company | Art Deco chromolithographic perfume & cosmetics catalogue for 1926

  • An early edition of this sumptuous chromolithographic beauty catalogue originally introduced at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition by the California Perfume Company. The firm was founded in 1886 by door-to-door book salesman David H. McConnell and would later become Avon. This catalogue includes 31 plates depicting perfumes and air fresheners, soaps, shampoo, skin creams, shaving kits, toothpaste, gift sets, food flavourings and colours, laundry powder, detergent, and household cleaning supplies. Of particular note are the attractive Art Deco packaging designs, a key aspect of the company’s success.

    These catalogues were expensive to produce but extremely successful at promoting the company’s products. Between 1915 and 1917 they were bound with screw-back posts so that pages could be added and removed, but after 1924 the use of screw-back posts was discontinued, so that salesmen were required to buy new catalogues. Price lists were originally issued separately, but this was discontinued in 1919, and this catalogue includes product details and prices interleaved on a lighter paper stock.

  • New York: California Perfume Company, [1926].

    Oblong folio. Original limp black cloth with fold-over lower cover, bound with metal rivets, title and floral design to upper cover gilt. Chromolithographic title and 31 plates depicting beauty products, each chromolithographic leaf with a numbered cloth thumb-tab, interleaved with informational pages on lighter paper stock. With a pink order form dated October, 1926 loosely inserted. Cloth a little rubbed with light wear at the extremities, the gilt title significantly oxidised and rubbed, spotting, discolouration and some short splits to the title, some spotting to contents not generally affecting the illustrations, lacking the final cloth thumb-tab. Very good condition.