Thursday, October 11, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 60

 Promenade du Peyrou 

Reverse side

Sometimes kind friends who know I like postcards send me cards and I really appreciate it when they do.  This one above shows Promenade du Peyrou, sometimes identified as Jardin du Peyrou, a park in Montpellier, France with the statue of Louis XIV prominently displayed in the center.  I think it a delightful scene as it includes the two elegantly dressed men wearing straw boater hats as they stroll along in the park.  These gentlemen also provide a perspective as to the size of the park and the statue of Louis XIV.  The other large structure is the water tower.   The photographer is identified at the lower left as L. J. Albaille of Montpellier.  Réunies of Nancy, France, printed the card.  A hat like this was popular during the early 1900s and considered formal summer attire for men. 

Below is a view of the park from a recent visit, complete with a small musical combo, a boy on a scooter, and people enjoying a day outdoors.  If you follow a line from the boy on the scooter to the left it is possible to see two figures that are standing approximately where the two men in the vintage postcard are standing.

Promenade du Peyrou
[photo:  courtesy of a Frenchman]

Although the message and the address are written on the reverse of the vintage card I found it interesting that the stamp has been placed on the front side upper left instead of the reverse side upper right.  This does not seem to have caused the post office any difficulty, however, as the stamp has been canceled and one presumes the card was delivered to the intended recipient.  Probably mail was hand canceled when this card was sent.  In today’s machine world I fear the automated canceller would have rejected it for not having the postage in the correct spot.  Then poor Rose at the cake shop would never have received the thoughts of Frederic!

Perhaps it is natural to jump from interest in the cards to the stamps, in any case, I do also enjoy the stamps and may from time to add some to these postcard posts.  It happened that I had another stamp like the one on this card and it does not have such a prominent cancellation mark, therefore, both are enlarged and displayed below.  A fun thing about the stamp on the postcard is that it was canceled in Montpellier, Hérault and that is where it was found approximately 100 years later.  Now it has traveled across the globe to end up in the United States.  Amazing.

The French painter (Paul) Joseph Blanc (1846-1904) designed and engraved stamps called “Type Blanc.”  The stamp above shows the Goddess of Liberty holding the balance of Equality with Fraternity depicted as two small angels.  Copper printing plates were made from engraved boxwood blocks.  Type Blanc stamps were first printed as flat sheets then later appear as rotary printing.  Beginning in 1900 this design was approved and the stamps were issued in denominations of 1c, 2c, 3c, 4c, and 5c with the 7 ½c released in 1926.  A 10c stamp was issued in 1929.  The color depended on the value of the stamp and this one that may have faded with time looks a shade of blue to me but was identified as green.  The design was used for a long enough period of time that these stamps can be found in flea markets and other places. 

For additional information about Joseph Blanc and the stamps please see:

Les Jardins du Peyrou
[photo by Jean-Luc Zaragoza]

The vintage postcard arrived in my mailbox accompanied by the card above showing an aerial view of modern day Montpellier featuring Peyrou park together with a letter containing additional information about both cards and the stamp.  From the view it is possible to see the symmetry of the park and its relationship to this section of the city.  The water tower looks larger and the statue pedestal looks much smaller—it is centered in the area with the trees.  The triumphal “golden” arch seen just at the upper middle left of the card balances the arched water tower.   The photographer is identified on the reverse as Jean-Luc Zaragoza, the card was printed by Meridionales and titled “Les jardins du Peyrou.”


Merci beaucoup!  J'aime les cartes postales, des photos et du timbre.  Merci aussi pour les informations intéressantes sur le parc et le timbre.
[Thank you very much.  I love the postcards, the photos and the stamp. Thank you also for the interesting information about the park and the stamp.]

No comments:

Post a Comment