The tradition that pigs bring good luck -- especially at the New Year -- is apparently Teutonic in origin; it certainly did not originate in Jewish or Arabic cultures where pig flesh was a forbidden food. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the image of a white pig (almost never a spotted, belted, or brown breed) is used as a lucky charm in Germany, Austria, England, and Ireland, as well as among Anglo-Americans.
The proverbial "pig in clover" invariably signifies financial prosperity and well-being. This notion arose from simple agricultural reality: pigs can live on pasture or subsist on farm waste and crop residues, they breed with great fecundity, and selling off weiner pigs for fattening is a good source of income on marginal land. In addition, a farming family that keeps pigs will never lack for meat.
Pig charms can be found in many forms, including silver or gold charm bracelet amulets, blown-glass Christmas tree ornaments, decorated marzipan candy, hard pink peppermint candy, rubber or plastic toys, glass or porcelain money-banks (piggy banks), or, as here, good-luck postcards. Often the pig is shown holding a four-leaf clover in its mouth or standing next to a money bag. In Germany and Austria, the pig may also be depicted in association with lucky Amanita muscaria mushrooms
The postcard at the top of this page was mailed in 1905 and is marked "Raphael Tuck & Sons' Art Series 1263, The Lucky Pig." The sepia-tone postcard at right is German, but i have no further details about the publisher or date. The title is "Gluckliches Neujahr" (Happy New Year) and the card shows two pigs in a dirigible drinking champgane and throwing lucky charms down onto the populace below. Among the items the pigs are casting forth are horseshoes, four-leaf clovers, a chimney sweep doll, a lucky rabbit toy, and Amanita muscaria mushrooms. If old postcards interest you, there are more listed at the Lucky W Amulet Archive page on Good Luck Postcards.
56 mths ago