Wonderful, antique French postcard of a horse and rider at the Ecole de Cavalaerie Saumur performing a Croupade. Card was published by ND Phot. (Neurdein Frères/Neurdein et Cie, Paris). It was posted in 1912 with a 5 C French Green Semeuse Cameo Type stamp. Card is in very good antique condition with some scuffing on verso associated with age and use, some age-associated discoloration and minor corner bumping.
Neurdein et Cie (1860’s-1919) Paris, France
From Metro Postcard's website
The Neurdein Studio was founded in 1864 by Etienne Neurdein, son of the French pioneer in photography, Charlet. His brother Antonin managed the studio by himself for a number of years but after 1887 they ran the company together. They produced large quantities of stereo-views and lantern slides depicting scenes in Europe and French North Africa that became more tourist oriented in the 1870’s. Many of these images would later be printed in heliographed albums. They went on to publish many continuous tone, monochromatic postcards of urban French views, nudes, panoramas, military themes, and many scenes from various French colonies and Quebec, Canada. They also provided photographs of paintings for many art cards. Many of their postcards neither carry a name or logo but just the letters N D. In 1920 they united with Levy Sons & Co. to form Levy & Neurdein reunis. Their negatives are now owned by the Roger-Viollet Photographic Agency.
French Stamps, Issues of 1903-1938, Type: Semeuse (Sower), Type: Semeuse (Sower): Solid Background - No Ground Under Feet
From Stamp Collecting World's website
The Semeuse Type French stamps were first introduced during 1903. Semeuse, in French, means "Sower". The new design features a French farm girl walking across a plowed field at sunrise. She is carrying a bag of seed in one hand, and spreading the seeds with the other hand. La Semeuse has been one of the most prominent allegorical symbols of France for more than a century.
Every stamp collector is probably familiar with these stamps. Just about every France stamp collecting packet contains many used condition examples of these. Of course, the mint condition stamps are much more difficult to locate.
The French stamps with the Semeuse designs were issued over a period of 35 years. The European stamp catalogs list these stamps in the particular years that they were issued. This can be very confusing, as both major types of the Semeuse issues are intermingled with charity stamps, commemorative stamps, and airmail stamps, as well as the Sage, Blanc, Mouchon, and Merson definitive stamp types, which were also being issued concurrently, during this time period....
The new Semeuse Type French stamps (without raised ground) with solid colored backgrounds went into production in 1906 and continued through 1937. They are all shown above. I have also seen these referred to as the Semeuse Cameo Type....
Any serious effort at specializing in these issues will absolutely require the use of the Yvert & Tellier specialized catalog....05 C. (1907 - Sc. #159, Y&T #137) - Green.
Airs Above the Ground
The airs above the ground or school jumps are a series of higher-level, Haute ecole, classical dressage movements in which the horse leaves the ground. They include the capriole, the courbette, the mezair, the croupade and the levade. None are typically seen in modern competitive dressage. They are performed by horses of various riding academies such as the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and the Cadre Noir in Saumur, and may be seen in other dressage performances. The levade and courbette are a particular feature of the Doma Menorquina, the riding tradition of the island of Menorca. Horses such as the Andalusian, Lusitano, Lipizzan and Menorquín are the breeds most often trained to perform the airs today, in part due to their powerfully conformed hindquarters, which allow them the strength to perform these difficult movements. There were originally seven airs, many of which were used to build into the movements performed today.
There is a popular conception that these movements were originally taught to horses for military purposes, and indeed both the Spanish Riding School and the Cadre Noir are military foundations. However, while agility was necessary on the battlefield, most of the airs as performed today would have exposed the vulnerable underbelly of the horse to the weapons of foot soldiers. It is therefore more likely that the airs were exercises to develop the military horse and rider, rather than to be employed in combat.
Horses are usually taught each air on the long rein without a rider, which is less strenuous for the animal. However, each movement is meant to eventually be performed under a rider....
The capriole, the croupade and the ballotade
In the capriole (meaning leap of a goat), the horse jumps from a raised position of the forehand straight up into the air, kicks out with the hind legs, and lands more or less on all four legs at the same time. It requires an enormously powerful horse to perform correctly, and is considered the most difficult of all the airs above the ground. It is first introduced with the croupade, in which the horse does not kick out at the height of elevation, but keeps the hind legs tucked tightly under, and remains parallel to the ground. The horse is then taught the ballotade. In this movement, the horse's hind hooves are positioned so one can see its shoes if watching from behind, but the horse is not asked to kick out. When the horse demonstrates proficiency in the ballotade, the capriole is introduced.
Calvary school at Saumur
The Cavalry school (French: Ecole de cavalerie) is a French military training establishment at Saumur. Originally set up to train the cavalry of the French Army, it now trains the troops of France's arme blindée cavalerie (Armoured Cavalry Arm) in reconnaissance and armored warfare.
In 1763, Louis XV (via the Duc de Choiseul) reorganised the French cavalry. A new school for officers from all the cavalry regiments was set up at Saumur, managed and supervised by the "Corps Royal des Carabiniers" - since its inception the school has been hosted in the carabinier regiment's quarter of the town, latterly in a magnificent 18th century building. This functioned until 1788. At the end of 1814, after the First Restoration, Louis XVIII set up the "École d'Instruction des Troupes à cheval" in Saumur. Its activities declined from 1822 onwards so it was regenerated by Charles X under the name of the "École Royale de Cavalerie" (later renamed the École impériale de cavalerie de Saumur). Most of its building complex was taken up with a military riding area and a riding-academy training hall. From 1830, with the disappearance of the École de Versailles, Saumur became the capital and sole repository of the French equestrian tradition, and its knowledge (such as in the Cadre Noir and its training regime in dressage) is still recognised throughout the world. At the end of the Second World War the French mounted cavalry (reduced to several squadrons of spahis retained for patrol work by this point) and armored troops merged to form the 'Arme blindée et cavalerie' (ABC), with the École de Saumur becoming the new branch's training centre.
After a 1985 reorganisation, the 12th Light Armored Division (12 DLB) was planned as a mobilisation division of the French Army, with its headquarters to be formed on the basis of the staff of the École d'application de l'Arme blindée et de la cavalerie (EAABC) at Saumur. The division comprised the 507 RCC at Saumur (AMX-30s), the 3 RCh(T), also at Saumur and also attached to the EAABC, the Legion's 4th Foreign Regiment at Castelnaudary, and the 33rd Regiment of Artillery (RA), at St Maixent, attached to an NCO school.
Unposted, real photo, French postcard of a horse performing the Croupade in dressage