History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

02 February, 2013

Romance Postcards of the 1920s

Of course at this blog we love love, so despite my general indifference to Valentine's Day, we're going to have a series of romance-themed posts leading up to it. Today, a selection from my personal collection. Hand-coloured photo postcards like these were popular from the late 1900s to the early 1930s, though the romance ones were especially big in the 1920s. They were made in France, but quite popular in England as well. 

The dyes are exceptionally bright, brighter in person than in reproduction. Some of them also have a metallic sheen. Many are written, but in French (of which I know very little) so full/better translations will have to wait. Interestingly, none of the written ones were mailed or intended to be (no address, writing over the spot for the stamp, etc), so they must have been given to the recipients. I am still working on researching the social context, but for now, aren't they grand? 


Personal collection

The handwriting is this one is very hard to read but with words like "beloved" and "tender" in it (in French), I think we can say it's a love note. 



Personal collection

Dated the 29th of September, but no year. "In response to your sweet letter, take my dearest love, my best kisses, and my good thoughts.Soon, Marie." (translated)



Personal collection

Dated 17 June, 1924. The back is packed with writing in purple ink from Raymond to Irene.





Personal collection

Unwritten. 



Personal collection

Dated 30th December 1924. "Dear (female) friend, best wishes for a happy year from your friend. Hoping that next year I can wish for more closeness. Your friend, Rolland."   Under the writing is a military address (regiment, company etc.), but there's no indication this card was or could be mailed-- just letting the friend know how to write him, I suppose...?



Personal collection

This was once written, but in pencil, and it's been erased! Ahh!!



Personal collection

Those swirlies are done in glitter, by the way. Across the back, in large letters and dark blue ink it says "Vive laste Catherine", then smaller, in purple ink, something along the lines of "I give you this card. I think you will enjoy it. I don't know what to write. I wrote to the school. I don't have anything else to say. Hugs to you. Sincerely, Halmacy." 



Personal collection

Unwritten.



Personal collection

That purple is more of a bright pink in person, and rather makes my eyes hurt! Dated 11th June, 1927. "Dear brother and sister. I am replying to your letter, which I enjoyed. I thought you were going to forget me. But I did not see your letter that you still think about me. [clearly it doesn't say this; I can't figure it out exactly]. I am very happy to read your letter...." There's a lot more--it's very long-- but if I don't stop there this post will never finish! 



Personal collection

Dated Monday at 6 o'clock. "Cherie [darling, my love] Come to the garden tomorrow at 2 o'clock. A thousand kisses. I love you. Marcel." (translated). 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

They are indeed grand!

Mike Hunter said...

Yes, they're truly beautiful! Regarding the charming "In response to your sweet letter, take my dearest love, my best kisses, and my good thoughts. Soon, Marie" photo featured in your splendid site; may I have permission to use a copy of it as an enlargeable image, to possibly be featured as part of the background in a play about the 1920s I've written?

Thank you,

- Mike Hunter

Anna said...

Glad you liked them! Absolutely, and thank you for asking permission. I am a big fan of both theatre and the 1920s so if you'd like a bigger/higher-resolution image, I'd be happy to share, just let me know-- my email is anna.krentz [@] yahoo.ca . Cheers!

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