The cover has a strip of four green 6d ‘Chalon’ Queensland stamps cancelled with four duplexes of BRISBANE/ JA 20/ 1867/ QUEENSLAND and it is addressed to the Saintoin Brothers Company, Merchants, Orleans, Loiret, France and there are two illegible transit &/orarrival French cancels, one in blue and the other in red. There is a manuscript at the bottom of the cover ‘Pour remettre a —— Gaujaro, tiné’, and the reverse was not seen (Figure 1).
The company name was found listed in ‘Catalogue des Produits de L’Empire Français’, (fortunately in English as well as French) as Saintoin Brothers, confectioners, distillers and chocolate makers at Orleans, Loiret ,and the company had been awarded five medals at Paris in 1855, Toulouse 1858, Bordeaux 1859 and Nantes 1862. “This house was established in 1760 by ancestors of the present proprietors and has been ever since continued under the same name. The company had succeeded by superior manufactures, in establishing for themselves an extraordinary good position. They have adopted every improvement however expensive, and have accomplished by incessant attention and labour the formation of a real manufactory comprising three different classes of articles, viz. confectionery, liqueurs and chocolate. Their establishment, one of the finest to be met with in this line being worked by a steam engine of thirty horsepower, possesses the most improved machinery as well as the best contrived system known to the trade.
Confectionery: Santoin have been enabled by their singulary advantageous position to apply the utmost economy to the manufacture of their sweetbreads. These articles so delicate as to require much care, are by them treated in a very peculiar way, using all precaution to connect a tasteful shape with delicacy of flavour. Comfits are manufactured by this house on a very extensive scale.
Liqueurs: Santoin who are considered among the principal distillers, have succeeded in creating for themselves a specialty. Their ‘Cuaçaon’ is very highly esteemed for its stomachic and digestive qualities, and have procured for them First Class rewards in several competitions.
Chocolates: The high standing of this house in the trade is fully justified by the improvements adopted, both for the composition and shapes, whether in fancy forms or plain cakes, of its chocolates (Report of the Jury, Bordeaux, 1859: Bronze Medal.)”
A circa 1887 Chocolate Advertising Vintage Trade Card for Santoin Freres à Orléans shows 2 fantasy Arab children playing music, a girl on a tamborine and a boy on a box guitar against a silhouette of a tortoise, and the title for the card is ‘La Tortue’ [the turtle] (Figure 2).
The reverse is printed MAISON FONDÉE EN 1760/ SANTOIN FRÈRES and the gold medal awarded in Paris in 1878 and another gold medal awarded in Amsterdam in 1883 are shown alongside the company’s crest of two lions surrounding a shield with ‘SF’ on it. Below this is printed DIPLÔME D’HONNEUR, Anvers 1885, and CONFISERIE, DISTILLERIE, CHOCOLATERIE, ORLÉANS (Figure 3).
Alas, there is no clue as to who sent the cover.