Saturday, February 07, 2015

Booksellers on the Seine (Post card version)

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.)


k said...

In Angleterre we have Britannia, but I suspect it is really Boudica (Boadicea) in her chariot. She showed the Romans what's what!

I am a robot.

TonyaFaith said...

Hi, my name is Tonya and I love reading blogs about Paris. I came across yours today and saw the stamp that you posted. I have one exactly like that. I have a pen-pal from France in which I've been in contact with for 31 years ( I blog about this). I am getting to see her when I visit France in April (44 days!!) Anyway, about the stamp, when I saw yours, I said to myself, I have one like that. I went look through my collection from, Florence (my pen-pal) and yes, I do!
Thanks for the history lesson on the stamp!!

wem said...

What a serendipitous find! A postcard to go with your painting. Personally, that's one of my top favorite activities in Paris, walking along the bookseller stalls.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Tonya, I'm glad you are going to see your pen-pal in France!

wem, I agree, walking along the bookseller stalls is one of my favorite Paris activities. A classic!

c'est Jeff ici said...

I think that someday walking along the quai looking at the books is going to get me killed! I trip over things, bump into people, and completely lose myself in the titles and the images. On top of that I am quite tall and am constantly banging my head on things in the stalls. I used to flip through the books but found my day disappearing so now I just scan the titles and hope for good fortune. I have found several treasures that way, out of print and rare copies of books I've searched for for years. I love the combination of photography and painting, thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

Your painting is beautiful! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada (yes, it is very French here, you would love it as well). :)

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