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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Paul van Yperen said…
Buon natale! I once was in Rome during Christmas and New year's Eve. A happy memory. I remember Piazza Navone where they sold witch puppets. And I remember this very heavy New Year's Eve meal of lentils and sausages. If you ate enough, you would be very fortunate in the new year. I guess I was.
Snap said…
Buon Natale! What a marvelous find! Happy PFF!
what a fun Christmas postcard :D
Beth Niquette said…
What a fabulous Christmas card! I laughed over the look on the little girl's face--she doesn't seem to approve of what the little boy is doing! LOL

Happy PFF and Merry Christmas!
Irene said…
How lovely, what a treasure to find. I'm Polish and it seems to me that my mom didn't light up our home until after Dec. 8th as well. I never really knew why, but I suspect your reason is the correct one.
MrCachet said…
That's a live tree they're decorating! Great image.
Aimee Dars said…
What a cute card. I love it when dogs are included in vintage PC illustrations!