The trade cards of the Liebig collection
The Liebig Company has been the producer of "Meat Extract" . The famous German chemist Justus von Liebig was the inventor of the meat extraction process, which allowed to concentrate and preserve the essential nutrients and flavors of beef in the form of paste or boullion cubes. An English firm, who owned large cattle farms in South America, decided to start the production of the meat extract in 1850 and named it after its inventor. Soon, "Liebig Fleischextrakt" was sold all over the world. The production take place in Fray- Bentos and Colon (South America).
Around 1870 they started to publish fantastic colored lithographed cards and ended in 1975, after having published more than 11.000 different types of cards. Every subjet is nearly always in a set made up of six or twelve cards.
After the very rare early issues, the cards were exchanged by the Company for coupons, and are mostly found as complete sets. Each serie has 6 or 12 cards. The size is generally around 4.1" x 2.8". Most series were issued in more than one country, and can therefore be found in several languages. There have been published cards in Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Italy etc...
The reverse of most cards wears advertising for the Liebig Company products or a recipe. The last lithographed series came out around 1939, but more interested cards have been edited until the seventies.
Also interesting for Liebig collectors are the cookbooks, calendars, menus and other publicity.
Collectors all over the world use different catalogues (Jansens, Tourteau, Van Der Auwera, Arno, Dreser, Sanguinetti, Unificato, ... ). A free conversion table between catalogs is available on this website.