#97 - Hoffmann's die-cut advertising cat, circa 1930's
. This cat is way too cute to be put away in the reference box so he lives on my desk. His front legs pull forwards so that he can stand up, but he's very small for a point of sale and he has a card around his neck that reads, "HOFFMANN'S Reis-Stärke mit der katze"
("Hoffmann's rice starch, with the cat")
. I did read that he's a bookmark, and he would do the job well, but I'm not convinced that was his original purpose.Hoffmann's
were a German starch factory just outside Salzuflen founded in 1850. They're cat logo (below) designed by illustrator Flinzer Fedor became a registered trademark in 1876. The cat was used as it portrays cleanliness. Hoffmann's really loved the cat as an icon and it's said on their 100th anniversary they decorated a cat on a pedestal in the factory grounds and in 1988 a giant cat was paraded through Salzuflen to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the freedom of the city. A 2 metre high statue of the cat was also taken to events during the 1930's!
There's lots more vintage advertising and packaging in the Reference box - check it out here