Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bonne Année - 1920s

Anybody with even a passing interest in collecting vintage postcards from the early 20th century will have certainly come across an image published by the PC of Paris studio at some time or another; an enormously prolific company, PC of Paris was well known for its erotic nudes, as well as rather more innocent scenes such as this delightful New Year's Eve greetings card from the Golden Age of postcard production. This card is a little different, however, in that the publisher logo in the bottom right hand corner of the card – the initials PC inside a Star of David – is unlike the usual PC of Paris insignia which places the initials inside a circle and includes the name of the city. Very mysterious – it may be that this is an entirely different PC!

Regardless of the publisher, this hand tinted real photo postcard with hand painted additions of mistletoe and snow decorations, is a real gem. It was never posted, although it carries a new year's message on the reverse and was presumably delivered by hand. There is no date, but it was most likely issued during the 1920s or early 1930s.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Decorating the Christmas Tree - Buon Natale - 1941

The countdown to Christmas in Rome seems to start very suddenly on 8th December - a public holiday celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – when the city's Christmas lights are switched on and tourists and Romans alike pack the streets of the Eternal City to admire the decorations and start shopping for gifts. With this in mind I thought I'd share a vintage Italian Christmas postcard that I picked up from one of my favourite market stalls in Piazza Borghese in Rome yesterday, when I joined the thronging masses in town.

This gorgeous artist signed vintage postcard of two children decorating a Christmas tree was posted just in time for Christmas on 24 December 1941. It was printed by the Florence-based postcard company Ballerini & Fratini (1912 - the present day) and features an exquisite lithographic design by the prolific illustrator G.Piattoli.

The details are particularly lovely on this card with the lucky horseshoe, the pattern on the vase and border picked out in gold, with only the slightest shift of registration in the offset printing with some mismatched edges around the boy's hat and the puppy dog. The illustrator's signature is in the bottom right hand corner and incorporates the city Firenze – Florence.

A wonderful find! Buon Natale!

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