Art Deco Beauties
Art Deco Beauties
Towards the end of the 19th century the social climate in Europe changed dramatically, what had been considered obscene suddenly became just naughty. The golden age of the pictorial post-card was launched which however, only lasted twenty years up until the First World War 1914-18.
Early girly photographic post-cards were rarely posted openly they were kept for private pleasure or posted in sealed envelopes, so they are often free of postmarks. They are also free of messages, which in the early days of the post-card had to be crowded into the blank corners on the edge around picture. A rough guide to dating a post-card is that in 1902 Great Britain allowed the back of the card to be divided into two, the right half for the address and the left half for the message. France followed in 1904. The whole surface of the front was then free for the picture.
In 1906 the use of photographs in post-cards became the speciality of France who produced thousands of photographic views. After the views came, the pretty ladies, and then the French post-card became the epitome of naughtiness. Once the typical Paris post-card was established came the straight photographic prints, which carried the suggestion that it was a skilful snap taken in the bedroom by the sender himself. Sepia prints were preferred because the colour was nearest to flesh tone and many of the cards were colour tinted by hand.
There were professional artist models they were quite lovely, they also posed for photographers. However, there were amateur models not quite so good looking who posed secretly for photographers, some were women in service who were just short of money.
The quality of the photography is superb shot mostly in daylight studios under natural light conditions. In this day and age the pictures look charming and innocent and no longer even naughty.