Originally posted 10 January 2014
One of the most popular vintage liquor ads is for Rhum Des Incas, which was bottled by a company in Paris in the 1920’s. Have a look at this lovely piece of art before I mention a few things about it.
Astute viewers may notice just a few things wrong as regards historical accuracy… The Incas didn’t have horses, especially with European-style ornamental bridles like that, and nothing worn by any Inca ever resembled that bizarre pants-suit-toga whatever-it-is with the matching red boots. That goes for the headdress too, though you have to figure that if they had the materials, they probably would have gone for it. Finally, even if the Incas drank rum in the first place, which they didn’t, the stuff in that bottle was made in Martinique, which is a thousand miles, a chain of mountains, and an ocean away from any place the Incas ever settled. On the plus side, it is an arresting and memorable image that probably inspired many people to gallop somewhere on a horse while waving a bottle of spirits. I am amused by the possibility that some lazy student somewhere will find this image on the Internet and use it to illustrate a homework assignment on the Incas… I do not think it would help their grade very much.