Pages

13 May 2015

Kwatta

The Belgian-Dutch chocolate factory Kwatta produced several sets of Film Star trading cards during the late 1940s. The black and white and colour cards of Hollywood stars were issued with the Kwatta chocolates.

Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer. Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 112. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer (M.G.M.). Publicity still for Arch of Triumph (Lewis Milestone, 1948).

Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman. Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 210. Image: Metro Goldwyn Mayer (M.G.M.). Publicity picture for Arch of Triumph (Lewis Milestone, 1948).

Greer Garson
Greer Garson. Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 203. Photo: M.G.M.

Ava Gardner
Ava Gardner. Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 234. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for East Side, West Side (Mervyn LeRoy, 1949).

Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr. Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois D'Haine, no. C. 252.

James Mason
James Mason. Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, no. C. 265. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for East Side, West Side (Mervyn Leroy, 1949).

Suriname - Netherlands - Belgium - US


The Kwatta company was founded in 1883 by P. de Bondt and Joseph Gustaaf van Emden. They produced chocolate in a factory in Breda in the south of the Netherlands with cacao from the Kwatta plantation in Suriname, then a Dutch colony.

At the outbreak in 1907 of the cocoa market crisis the prices rose sharply and a lot of cocoa and chocolate companies closed their doors. Kwatta NV survived this crisis thanks to their packaged chocolate bar.

This Kwatta-bar was so popular among the soldiers that the army was the largest buyer and the Kwatta bar was for sale in all barracks.

In 1913 it became a Dutch-Belgian company when a chocolate factory was opened in Bois-d'Haine, Belgium. Subsidiaries in Germany and France followed.

In 1972 Kwatta became a full Belgian brand and since 2001 the American multinational Heinz owns the brand.

Hedy Lamarr and Clark Gable In Comrade X
Belgian collector's card by Kwatta, Series C, no. 166. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Comrade X (King Vidor, 1940) with Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr.

Ronald Colman, Greer Garson
Belgian collector's card by Kwatta, Bois-D'Haine, no. C. 170. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Random Harvest (1942) with Ronald Colman and Greer Garson.

Mickey Rooney (1920-2014), Gloria De Haven in Summer Holiday
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 172. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Summer Holiday (Rouben Mamoulian, 1948) with Mickey Rooney and Gloria De Haven.

Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas in Ninotchka
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, no. C. 181. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Ninotschka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939) with Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas.

Ilona Massey, Nelson Eddy
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, no. C. 182. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Balalaika (Reinhold Schünzel, 1939) with Ilona Massey and Nelson Eddy.

Film star trading cards


“Early film star cards were most commonly issued in tobacco packs though cards also commonly came with candy and gum as well as other items such as bread, cookies and other food products; magazine supplements; even sewing needles in one case!”, writes Cliff Aliperti at his beautiful website Immortal Ephemera.

After the second World War, Kwatta issued several sets of film star trading cards. Some were in black and white, others in colour.

Also the measures differed. The cards of the first series of 96 cards measured about 2,5 x 7,6 cm (1-7/8" X 3-1/16") with the stars name and studio listed at the bottom. Following sets measured 5 x 7 cm (2" x 2-3/4") and finally there were sets of ostcard sized cards of 8 x 13 cm (3-1/4" x 5-1/4"). The latter was the C-series, shown in this post.

At the back side there was information in French and in Dutch, the two languages of Belgium. The cards could be collected in a pocket album named Ciné Stars. On the cover was a lion, which referred to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. And indeed, most stars were under contract with MGM.

Linda Christian
Linda Christian. Belgian card by Kwatta. Photo: M.G.M.

Greer Garson
Greer Garson. Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 2. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

Hedy Lamarr and John Garfield in Tortilla Flat
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, no. C. 154 Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Tortilla Flat (Victor Fleming, 1942) with Hedy Lamarr and John Garfield.

Marlene Dietrich and Ronald Colman in Kismet
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 156. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Kismet (William Dieterle, 1944) with Marlene Dietrich and Ronald Colman.

Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, Bois d'Haine, no. C. 176. Photo: M.G.M. Publicity still for Arch of Triumph (Lewis Milestone, 1948) with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman.

This was the ninth post in a series on film star postcard publishers. Next week: Alterocca. For earlier posts, see the links at right under the caption 'The Publishers'.

Sources: Cliff Aliperti (Immortal Ephemera), Troy Kirk (The Movie Card Website), and Wikipedia (Dutch).

No comments: