I picked up this little gem from the so-called Golden Age of postcard production at a market in Rome. This comic postcard depicts a classic "upstairs downstairs" innuendo-laden scenario with the butler leaving the kitchen after a secret tryst with the cook - or not so secret, as it turns out! The dramatic staging of the tableau has very much the air of a still from a silent movie, yet with the whole story told in one image. The card has a matte rather than glossy finish and is, I believe, a collotype print from a monochrome photograph (which is quite possible given that this method was popular in early European postcard production).
This is an uncirculated card with an undivided back, but there are several clues that help us date its production. The top left hand corner of the back of the card includes a space to add a posting date and sender, with the date space beginning "190..." which puts the card in the early 1900s. Whilst Great Britain was the first to adopt the "divided back" postcard in 1902, Italy issued its first divided back private postcard in 1906, with the Universal Postal Union allowing their use internationally with effect from 1 October 1907. Finally, the words Union Postale Universelle confirm the card as dating approximately from the period 1901 to 1907.
The publisher is identified as "ASC" and is mentioned just above the copyright notice below the address space.
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