At least to me, this trade card for Frear’s “Again Enlarged and Improved Troy Cash Bazaar” seems a bit, well, bizarre. The card, printed by T. Newcomb of New York City and perhaps used by other merchants as well, features a dandy (or is he a fop?) contemplating a sunflower, and the odd bit of verse:
“A Japanese young man,
A blue-and-white young man,
Francesca di Rimini, miminy, priminy,
Je-ne-sais-quoi young man.”
Turns out that’s from an 1899 Gilbert and Sullivan work called “Patience, or Bunthorne’s Bride: A Comic Opera in Two Acts.” Even reading it in context, I have no idea what it means.
What does it have to do with Frear’s? Perhaps it was so well known then that it was just considered quotable.