Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Cyclist Greeting Postcard

This is a postcard that was never mailed. Never written on, nothing. It's printed in Denmark and has a cute little drawing of a person riding a bike where the stamp should go. I must assume that whomever purchased this postcard meant to send it or buy it as a keepsake from a vacation. I have to admit, this wouldn't be my first choice.

Pretty trees, check. A bicycle, check. But then you throw in this Billie Jean King looking woman, I kind of lose my woo hoo for the picture. Don't get me wrong, Billie Jean rocked the tennis court, but shazam, short 70's style hair probably didn't even look good then, let alone now. Look at me all judging today, knowing full well when I was a little girl I desperately wanted the Farrah Fawcett long feathered bangs look. That's right, Charlie's Angels were the bomb.  Joan Jett, she knew how to wear short hair in the day. She kicked butt and took names, you know she did. The chick on this card is staring off into space, I am sure the photographer was guiding her. Look like you're contemplating something, finding your zen out in the woods. Oy, I can just see it.

It's funny to go back and read some of my posts on this blog. I can tell what kind of day I was having or my mood just by reading them. When I read this post someday in the future, I'm sure I'll be wondering why I was in such a snarky mood. Must be lack of chocolate, luckily I have some in the freezer and ready for me. Only frozen chocolate, M&M's to be exact. Heaven.

Mansion a la Pride and Prejudice?

One interesting thing about antique books is that instead of printing a picture directly on the pages, some books have pictures pasted into them. Who knew, right? I am guessing that is what this picture is. It's really small, only 2 inches by 3 inches or so, and the paper is very thin.

If you've seen any of the versions of Pride and Prejudice perhaps you can see what I see in this picture. Whether it's Colin Firth, Laurence Olivier, or
Matthew Macfadyen, it all works in my head in this house. Especially the end of the movie when Mr. Darcy is about to go in and express his feelings one last time. Sigh, love the book, love the movies.

A Letter, 1947

 A lovely little envelope with a letter in Danish that was dated August 20, 1947. The envelope is smaller than a regular envelope and feels incredibly soft, as though it is older than it is dated. The letter is folded as though it's a greeting card and our writer ran out of room and wrote upside down on one page of the letter and the ending comments roll back around to the front of the letter. The letter is written what looks like school lined paper.

I miss getting letters. The ones that mean so much to you that you carry it around in your purse or wallet and you have read it so many times it's starting to fall apart along the fold lines. It's so strange to realize that new generations will never have that experience. And no, printing off an email and rereading it doesn't count. Typed words on a page are nearly as personal as a hand written letter.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hans Holbein and the Portrait de Didler Erasme

Hans Holbein was a German artist who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He produced religious art, satire and Reformation propaganda, and he made a significant contribution to the history of book design. But he is most famous for his portraits. He was the kings painter to Henry VIII for heaven sakes. If you Google him you will see and recognize many of his paintings. This particular postcard has the Portrait de Didler Erasme on it.

Erasme was a priest, philosopher, Latin writer, humanist, and theologian of the Burgundian Netherlands. He is recognized as one of the greatest humanists of the Renaissance. There are several famous paintings of him, you will, or should recognize them if you look them up. Yeah, I was being a little snarky with the should part of that last sentence. I think we as a society as a whole have traded in our time and energies from reading and learning about history and art to staring at our phones, computers,TV's, and iPads and so on. I am also guilty of this travesty, so I am equally chastising myself as I write this. Yes, I know we can see art and read and learn history on all of these devices, but seriously, aren't we all watching and doing other things 99% of the time?

All right, back to the postcard. It was printed in Paris and was sold at The Louvre. The only date on the postcard is June 17, 1947. Two years after the end of WWII. No stamp, but it is addressed to someone. Perhaps they handed the card over directly instead of mailing it. It's a short message, perhaps just a token to say I was thinking of you during my time in Paris. I do feel a tad guilty when I post things like this, I do the research into the artist and the piece of art and then I only write a little bit about them. I try to not sound like a textbook, and boy it's hard sometimes to not ramble on and on about some of these things. So, I will simply leave you with a promise that if you look up Hans Holbein or Erasme (both?) you will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Greetings from the Paris French Restaurant

This has got to be the most unique restaurant wine list I have ever seen.  The writing is in Danish, but I cannot find the what restaurant this belonged to online. Either search engines aren't fabulous switching between languages yet, or this place doesn't exist any longer. Very fun accidental bookmark! The first picture is the paper all folded up, then below you see the inside with the flutes of wine with lists and prices, and the third picture is of the back of the card. Just the coolest thing ever. I don't know my wine prices well enough to date this card, but I would imagine the 50's or 60's based on condition and the drawings. That said, my mind says could be 40's or even the 70's. Ugh, date things people.

Sewing Doll Postcard

So cute, this little postcard. I'm not sure how to take the picture exactly. On the one hand, she's mending her toys. On the other hand, ripped off tail and arms? What does this chick do to her toys?  No date on the card, just the name Jack written twice, once quite legibly and once not so much. My first thought was that perhaps Jack had progressive thinking parents by his having this girly type of postcard, which I am all for, by the way. Little boys turn into fathers and should have the same kind of tenderness as girls are raised to have. Soapbox moment, forgive me. Anyway, and probably more correctly guessed, I am betting that Jack was the recipient of this lovely little card from a sibling, cousin, or a little girl with a crush. Either way, too cute.

Tuesday, September 1, 1942

 This is a full sheet of a newspaper from the September 1, 1942. It has a map showing what is going on in the war at this time. The key was at the bottom but was so small I decided to blow it up so we can make sense of the map. I love finding things about WWII. On the key, it is loosely, and I mean really loosely, translated as "That of the Axis ice and their allies ruled territory" or put in a way I understand a little better, "Axis Powers and their Allies controlled areas". So I am guessing the darkest red colored places are the German held territories.

The top of the paper says A Map Showing the Situation in Europe, after 3 Years of War. I can only imagine holding on to this paper during the war, the person probably kept many of these maps that were issued in the newspaper, how else would you keep track of the war during that time? The radio, for sure, but if you were in an occupied area, all you would hear would be second guessed as propaganda and you would only hear the real news of the war through underground sources. Maybe the BBC. Usually in occupied areas the personal radio's were taken away. Maybe some of the other newspapers were sent off to areas that were occupied. This paper could have been one of those. If only this paper could speak to us. Had to share this cool piece of history.