Nicolas Drancy Original vintage Poster

The story behind ‘Nicolas’ and its character ‘Nectar’

The Gallery is proud to have sourced and exhibiting the famous ‘Nicolas’ poster designed by Jules Isnard Dransy in 1930. The following will give you some background on Nicolas and its famous advertised character ‘Nectar’.

Nicolas D'après Jules Isnard DRANSY Original Vintage Poster

Depot Nicolas / Fines Bouteilles. 1922.
By Jules Isnard Dransy (1883-1945)
222.5 x 304.7 cm
Source: Image from Rennets Gallery
Nicolas is one of Frances’ most reputable wine distributors for 200 years began in 1822, when consuming wine at home was relatively unheard of, and the purchase of wine was often made from the Merchant or directly from the barrel. Founder of the company, Louis Nicolas, revolutionised wine drinking – by marketing wine by the bottle. Initially delivered to the home by a horse-drawn carriage, it changed the way people consumed wine.

Nicolas. 1927.
By Charles Loupot (1892-1962)
226 x 305 cm
Source: Image from Rennerts Gallery

In 1922, when Etienne Nicolas took over the company, he approached the artist Dransy with a proposition; to design a poster for the brand that explained how the company delivered wine directly to the consumers door. This iconic design of a delivery man affectionately known as ‘Nectar’ was soon to become one of the most recognisable faces in France. Nectar was the first cartoon used in advertising, and was featured in various locations around France, inspiring and enchanting generations of wine drinkers. The image of the delivery man Nectar, always with a stunned appearance, became an inspiration for later posters by Cassandre, Loupot, and Iribe, amongst others. 

Nicolas : Maquette. 1948.
By A. M. Cassandre (Adolphe Mouron, 1901-1968)
80 x 60 cm
Source: Image from Rennerts Gallery

Today, Nicolas has a total of 530 stores across France and the UK, including major towns and cities. Nicolas stocks more than 1,200 wines, champagnes and other beverages. Nicolas is the most popular wine distributor, selling the most high quality wine in France. 

Nicolas. 1933.

By Charles Loupot (1892-1962)
50 3/8 x 79 1/2 in./131 x 202 cm

Source: Image from Rennerts Gallery