Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi – circa 1899

Giacomo Puccini

Italian composers Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi are arguably two of Italy's best loved and most famous composers of operas, and as these two stunning portrait postcards from the late 1890s attest, celebrated musical figures of their day. I found these two vintage undivided back postcards on a market stall in Rome, Italy recently. They were sold together in pristine uncirculated condition, but we can date them with certainty to some time before 1906 when divided back postcards were first introduced in Italy. I have seen an identical copy of the Verdi postcard which was postally used in 1899, putting the publication of the postcards within both composers' lifetimes (Verdi died in 1901 and Puccini in 1924).

Giuseppe Verdi

The cards were printed by Italian company G. Modiano e Co, a Milan-based printing studio which branched into postcard publishing in the late 1890s under the guidance of Gustavo Modiano. On the death of Gustavo in 1916, the firm would first be run by his wife Bice, and then by his son Guido Modiano, who would later still become a well-known Italian art critic.

The Puccini postcard carries a pre-printed autograph which at first glance looks incredibly authentic. Modiani & Co. certainly did a fine job in printing the name in a darker ink – it had me fooled for a while...!

Check out eBay for more vintage composers postcards

Watch a video below of Puccini playing the piano wearing his distinctive bowler hat below or click here to watch on YouTube – please note that the sound is fake – but that is definitely the man himself!

Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.

Postcard Friendship Friday


VioletSky said…
I still have so much to learn about postcards history!. But these two men, I am very familiar with - Verdi operas are my favourites.
Christine H. said…
I knew what Verdi looked like, but I had no idea that Puccini was such a dashingly handsome man. Ooh la la.
Snap said…
These are wonderful! Happy PFF!
Haddock said…
When you read more and more about post cards, you realize how little we know of the era gone by.
Hello! I'm delighted to have found your blog. I recently became a vintage postcard fan and started a blog over the summer based around vintage postcards from Normandy in France.

We often visit Honfleur, and while last in Paris I found a number of amazing old postcards (or carte postale as the French call them) in flea markets. We took them with us on our next visit and took a catch-up photo of the same view.

I then created a blog that shows both pictures and weaves some local history or knowledge around them.

This has all been great fun to do as well as educational! and we will do this again for other holiday destinations.

If you have a moment to have a look at the blog I would value your feedback!

Best wishes