SULLIVAN — Cheryl Bottjer was searching for antiques to furnish her house overlooking Sullivan Harbor when she discovered “Moose Hunt,” one of the trade cards packed in bags of Arbuckle Bros. coffee in the 1890s.
The lithograph card depicted a map of Maine and a series of typical Maine images: a moose hunt, logging camp, boats and wildlife.
Bottjer learned that the coffee company started by John and Charles Arbuckle in 1864 introduced their trade cards in the 1890s as a publicity tool to increase sales. The lithograph cards were produced in numbered series, including the United States, nations of the world, satire, cooking, birds, sports and pastimes, natural history and many more.
Bottjer quickly collected 100 of the cards. She said she put them away and forgot about them for a few years, but today she has hundreds of them and continues to collect more.
She uses the trade cards to create artwork, the type of home furnishings she was looking for when she discovered the Arbuckle Bros. cards.
Bottjer digitally scans the cards then has giclee prints made of the images. She mounts and frames the prints, which maintain the vivid colors of the original lithographs.
She sells the prints framed and unframed. A cross-section of framed prints she has created is on display through May in the back hallway of the Riverside Café on Main Street in Ellsworth.
An amateur photographer, Bottjer also uses the photographs she takes to create giclee prints, which she markets through her business, Cheryl’s Vintage Images. Her coffee card prints are the latest addition to her business, and she hopes to have them for sale this summer at Artful Treasures.
Bottjer can be reached at 422-1065.
For more arts stories, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.