a Belle Chocolatiere has graced the BAKER’S Chocolate package for more than 122 years, making her the oldest product trademark in America.
Her story is one of romance and intrigue that began in a quaint chocolate shop in Vienna, Austria, in the mid-18th century.
In 1745 an Austrian nobleman, Prince Dietrichstein, stopped by a chocolate shop in Vienna to try a wonderful new chocolate drink people were talking about. His waitress was Anna Baltauf, daughter of an impoverished knight. Prince Dietrichstein was taken by the young lady, and despite objections from his family, he soon married Baltauf, making her a princess.
As a wedding gift, Prince Dietrichstein commissioned a portrait of his wife by the famous Swiss painter, Jean Etienne Liotard. Liotard posed Princess Dietrichstein in her 18th century chocolate server’s costume, commemorating their “love at first sight.”
The portrait of Princess Dietrichstein was displayed at the Dresden Art Gallery. It was there that Henry L. Pierce—then president of Walter Baker & Company—saw the painting. Pierce was captivated by it, and considered the portrait an ideal image for BAKER'S Chocolate.
In 1883, Pierce registered the image as a U.S. trademark, and named the silhouette “La Belle Chocolatiere.” For the next several decades, La Belle graced not only BAKER'S ads and packages, but also premium items and BAKER'S Chocolate squares.
To this day, each square of BAKER'S Unsweetened and Semi-Sweet Chocolate is emblazoned with the image of La Belle, and she still graces each box and container of BAKER'S Chocolate products. The original portrait of Princess Dietrichstein still hangs at the Dresden Gallery in Germany, where it is one of the museum’s chief attractions.