I’m a big fan of vintage French postcards, especially those from the period 1900-1910, but also some of the colorized postcards from the 1920s and 1930s.
In particular, I collect postcards from the Atelier Reutlinger, which was a French photography studio started in 1850 by a French family of photographers of German origin. Leopold-Emile Reutlinger ( 1863- 1937) took over the studio in 1890. The studio’s postcards from the period 1900-1910 bore heavy art nouveau influences, and employed innovative photo montage techniques, usually in the context of cards featuring identified, famous cabaret and opera stars of the time, most now lost to history. Click here for more information about the Atelier Reutlinger and more postcards from my collection.
I am also a big fan of the highly colorized postcards that were common in the late 1920s and early 1930s, from various studios. My first great find in this category was a set of postcards from the 1930s inspired by Japanese art. Click here for more Japanese-inspired colorized postcards.
My perception is that the production of romantic postcards (“fantaisies” as they are called in France) slowed after 1910 and was interrupted by WWI. In the 1920s, there emerged a style of highly colorized and lushly romantic postcards. In sharp contrast to the famous singers/actresses featured on the earlier cards, the models on these cards are anonymous. Click here for a page of highly colorized and lushly romantic postcards from the 1920s.
Another relatively rare subgenre of the colorized postcards were highly stylized art deco cards produced by various studios right around 1932. In particular, a number were characterized by blue framing with designs and gauzy imagery. Click here for more art deco cards, such as the keyhole card to the left.
In France, April 1 is referred to and celebrated as poisson d’avril (literally “April fish”). This page features some of the amusing vintage poisson d’avril postcards I’ve collected, mostly from the period 1900-1910. Click here to view the collection.
This page features a complex, mysterious, and fascinating set of 15 French postcards published in 1900 on the theme of the woman lawyer. Click here to view the series.