Just over a year ago I wrote a post about discovering a second-hand book stall in Rome which sold some lovely vintage postcards. One of those postcards was an absolutely gorgeous real black and white photograph of a Tuberosa flower - the shop had several others, in fact, that I regretted not having bought at the time! As luck would have it, I happened to pass by that stall recently and the proprietor was able to lay her hands on the exact folder – almost all the postcards had been sold, but there was one highly unusual monochrome flower photograph postcard remaining! Like the previous card, there is an overall matte surface, however, unlike most vintage bromide prints there is absolutely no trace of any metallic-looking tarnish on this postcard, which leads me to think that this is almost certainly a collotype printed from a monotone photograph. Collotypes were extremely poular in Europe and the process was famous for the depth of detail that could be achieved – look at the downy surface of the petals!
I've scoured the Internet trying to match these dried flowers with living White Star varieties although I'm still not certain if I've identified them correctly – the Aquilegia White Star is a close fit as regards shape and petal arrangement, although the surface of these makes them look more like dried white flower shiitake mushrooms than blooms! Borage, with its hairy sepals in a star shape is another possibility – any suggestions gratefully received in the comments below if there are any keen flower gardening experts reading this!
There are absolutely no signs of a publishing house on this postcard, but it was posted in Italy in 1911 and carries a jauntily positioned stamp diagonally positioned towards the left which I have read means “Yes, I will” on anglophone websites, whilst an Italian language philatelic forum suggested that this means “Mi siete antipatico” ( I dislike you) – surely not?! Hopefully this postcard didn't break somebody's heart!
Check out the Vintage Postcard Store for more Flower postcards!
Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.