I love my collection of vintage Paris postcards. I add to it every time I am in Paris, usually at lingering but somehow way-too-short trips to the Marché aux Timbres or the Marché aux Puces at Vanves.
This one, of a bouquiniste (book seller) on the banks of the Seine, appealed for a very specific reason: I have a painting from almost the same vantage point.
Here is the post card:
And here is my painting, which I wrote about here.
Cool, oui? I love how the shadow angles are the same.
Some collectors prize unblemished cartes postales, i.e., those which have no writing on them. Shame on me, maybe, but I love the post cards and greeting cards of yore with messages to friends, family, lovers, and -- in this case -- colleagues. I get a glimpse of French life -- someone else's life -- in a brief message. (Or sometimes not so brief, but that's another story.) Am I just a voyeur into others' past lives? Oh well.
Here is the flip side:
Translated, it reads
"Best wishes to all the team. Work, work work. Fun, Fun fun! Hi to everyone."
And the other cool thing that I discovered was that this company, Rhovyl, still exists in Tronville. I wonder if anyone there remembers this co-worker.
I was trying to figure out the date of the post card, and so I hunted down the stamp.
Ah, it turns out it's not just any stamp. This is none other than the Marianne Stamp designed by Jean Cocteau for La Poste in 1961.
How cool is that? (Marianne, of course, is the symbol of la République. In the U.S. we have Uncle Sam, who is unfortunately kind of fixed in a goatee and hat. Marianne is always evolving. One beauty after another.)
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