Sunday, November 25, 2012

Red Poulaine is Offering 25% Off for Cyber Monday

Red Poulaine is currently offering a Cyber Monday discount of 25%. This is the biggest discount we've ever offered and will be available only until midnight PST, Tuesday, November 27, 2012. To receive this discount, just enter coupon code CYBER2012 during the checkout process.

This Week's Featured Items: Pierrot & Colombinette

This week's featured items in the Red Poulaine shop are four hand-tinted postcards featuring Pierrot and, in three cases, his beloved Colombinette.

The first of our featured cards is a beautifully and brightly-colored hand-tinted card published by Bleuet, probably in the 1920s, showing Pierrot wooing Colombinette under the moon, while holding a mandolin in one hand. We love the wonderful scarves that grace each of the lovers' heads.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Pierrot and Colombinette by Bleuet circa 1920s Hand-Tinted
Two of our featured cards were issued as part of a series published between 1895 and1905. In these, the coloration is subtle, with the exception of the bright red used to highlight pompoms and ribbons, and we watch the relationship between the two develop, as Pierrot is first perplexed, then discovers that he can woo his love with tickets to "les bijoux!...."

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Pierrot et Colombinette II
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Pierrot et Colombinette IX
Although not one of our featured cards, we also have in our shop a third from the same series. In this card, Pierrot is angry with Colombinette, possibly having just learned of her association with Harlequin, and is rolling up his sleeve while threatening her with a large stick.

The final card featured is a violet-toned portrait shot by Bluet, of a woman dressed as Pierrot (or, possibly, Pierrette). The woman's expression is quite wonderful, a beautiful, magical expression! 

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Woman in Pierrot Costume circa 1920s

This is a lovely card, with a charming note on the back in violet ink, which, when translated, reads roughly, "Souvenir of Carnival 1928, for my dear little Cherise. Hugs from your cousin, Angela."

What wonderful fun! We have seen photographs of hundreds of people parading through village streets on the occasion of some festival or other, all of them dressed up as Pierrot! Time machine please! Doctor, where are you? Bring the Tardis immediately, please!

P.S. Keep an eye on this blog for our Cyber Monday coupon code, scheduled for this afternoon. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Early Steampunk Inspirations

While Steampunk's connections to the Victorian era are well-documented, we contend that the estheatic that developed as a result of the introduction of an increasing number of new technologies continued into the early part of the twentieth century, as can be seen in these wonderful, evocative cards from that era. We love the mix of cultures, too, which allowed for such pictures at that below, in which the men wear such different hats: newsboy, beret, turban, and our top hat wearer has even got a monocle! Clearly, this was:

The First Steampunk Convention!

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE The First Steampunk Convention 1920s RPPC
We jest... these guys are just revelers, dressing up, drinking beer, and having a good time. Fun old RPPC from the 1920s, unless...they actually travel through time and space in a TARDIS-like vehicle, and someone managed to get a photo of them before they whisked off to ancient Rome, or maybe Tralfamagar, or, well, really...that could be what's going on here! We just deal in old postcards, and photographs, and only occasionally time travel... such as can be seen in:

Three Brothers in a Time Machine

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Three Brothers in a Time Machine
Okay, so it's not a time machine, but our cards, in their own peculiar way, might as well be time machines. They certainly have a way of taking one back to magical places and times. Great "Steampunk" atmosphere.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Handsome Man, Post WWI

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Hand-Tinted Handsome Fellow circa 1920s/30s

Move over girls! Handsome Jack has arrived!

We see many hand-tinted couples romance cards, but not so many hand-tinted men all on their own, so we're always pleased when one comes our way.

It's probably worth mentioning that, although men appearing in the earliest picture postcards were often bearded or wearing elaborate mustaches, those in picture postcards of the late teens, and into the thirties, were generally clean shaven, very neat and tidy. The features of most of the male models of this period were less apt to be those of a "Marlboro Man," and more along the lines of the Japanese "bishonen," or "pretty male," to the degree that we have sometimes wondered if a well-dressed man in some of these 20's period cards might not be, in fact, a pretty woman in male attire. Yet, although that must have happened on occasion, the pretty boy look reflected a change in taste and style, one that emphasized a cultured, polished appearance, rather than one that was more rugged and robust.  This preference for a "sensitive" guy might even suggest a marked increase in picture postcard images aimed at a larger, more independent, female postcard buying audience following World War I.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Video Friday: "Edwardian Girls"

This wonderful video featuring vintage footage contrasts the fashions of the Edwardian era with fashions twenty years later, showing the extremity of the change; however, most of the video is devoted to the wonderful Edwardian images. We especially appreciated the chance to see the headdresses from all angles, as the models pirouetted to give us a 360° view of the styles.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Susan in Her Boudoir

"Hi, Janey! You know Susan and Tony from down at the diner, right? Cute couple, thick as thieves, never see one without the other."

"Yeah, that's them. And the way she brags about him! Says he's a regular tiger, if you know what I mean."

"A coupla weeks back it goes around he's been spendin' a lot of time at the drugstore, when her royal highness Cynthia's on duty at the make-up counter...yeah...cattin' around. Funny one's seen Tony for a week or more...just disappeared...yeah...weird, huh?"

Monday, November 12, 2012

This Week's Featured Items: Hand-Tinted French Postcards of Beautiful Hats

This week's featured items in the Red Poulaine shop are four postcards featuring hats, each beautifully hand-tinted. Three of the cards have images of large-brimmed sunhats, while in the fourth the hat is a cloche with a narrow brim.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Hand-Tinted 1920's Flapper in Gorgeous Hat

This lovely card by Opera of Paris shows a cheerful young woman as the hat model. The hat itself is made of a textured fabric, with the crown circled by an elaborate ribbon. The card has been beautifully hand-tinted, depicting the model as a strawberry blond, while the red ribbon with gold edging contrasts marvelously with the solid black of the hat. A wonderful card for anyone interested in the fashions of the 20s and, especially, in hats.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Hand-Tinted 1920's Flapper in Wonderful Hat
Here's a card from French postcard publisher RP that features a model wearing a rose red sunhat with a pink underbrim of crinkled fabric. The hat truly highlights the delicate features and wistful expression of the model. The pale yellow-green hand-tinting of the dress provides a marvelous almost neutral shade that complements the deep rosy shades of the hat and the model's lipstick. We can just imagine her at an elegant garden tea party, looking up into the eyes of her first beau and soon-to-be fiancé. Alternatively, she's a mushroom fairy, possibly the queen of the woodland mushrooms, who has deigned to grace a favoured table at the lucky hostess' garden party and the young man who is smitten by her beauty may disappear for the next seven years.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Hand-Tinted 1920s Flapper in Marvelous Hat
The third of our sunhat postcards is also from France, by the publisher Leo. This card, like the others, has been hand-painted, and her blond hair has just a tint of red. Her pearl necklace has been painted to match her hot pink lipstick, while her hat is a lovely shade of blue and has trimmed with fine golden-yellow lace.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE Beautiful Hand-Tinted Image of Young Woman 1923
This is a very charming image and the model has a truly wonderful smile. Still, we chose this one for our shop primarily because of the wonderful example it presents of fine hand-coloration. Truly remarkable work. From the detail work on her silk blouse, the gentle rouging of her cheeks, to the implied reflection of light off the satin ribbon on her hat. So wonderful! A celebration of Spring!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This Week's Featured Items: Family Photos

This week's featured items in the Red Poulaine shop are four photographs or RPPCs of families; two show family picnics, one a family grouped around a dining table, and the last a "posed" photo of the entire family and their chimney sweeps. Yes, chimney sweeps! Marvelous, we thought, and so we had to share.

SOLD An Edwardian Picnic in the Park, Early 1900s
This photographic postcard was published by the "Ace of Clubs" group and the reverse of the card was printed in French. The grouping in this image reminds us of paintings by the Impressionists, while the presence of the small black child, apparently part of the family, unusual for the time, adds a bit of happy mystery to the image.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE A Picnic Lunch, Mid-1920s to Early 1930s
We place the date of this wonderful family picnic photo at somewhere between the mid-twenties to the early thirties. Was this a youngish grandmother with her adult children? We may never know, but we just love this image. High Summer, the meadow's yellowed grass, a stout wicker hamper, bread, wine, a lovely cheese perhaps... that baguette must have been wonderful. :) Don't you wish you could join them?

We love an RPPC that takes us into a turn of the century home. It's like a trip in a time machine. On the reverse of the card is written in German (or something close to it), "The Jakobs family having coffee in the (something)room." The aging and wear of this image are apparent, but these relatively candid interior views come along rarely enough that we list them even when they are not in the finest condition.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE The Entire Family, Including the Chimney Sweeps, 1932 or Earlier
Awesome image of a large family gathering, including a pair of chimney sweeps who stand, like two royal coachmen in attendance, to either side of the family. The chimney sweeps remind us of Dick Van Dyke singing, "good luck will rub off when I shakes 'ands wiv you,"in the film Mary Poppins; perhaps this family so valued the luck their sweeps brought them that they insisted on their presence for all important moments.

We don't often find photographs of chimney sweeps, so this is almost certainly a rare image. The photograph was taken in Poland by Zaklad Photography, with a handwritten date on the reverse of 1932, although the image looks a bit older.