In a decade plus of handling postcards, this is the first one I've come across that made me feel like I should be wearing kid gloves. This is the finest Cleo de Merode postcard I've ever seen. Like many celebrities in the Belle Epoque, Cleo was almost as renown for her ballet dancing as for her courtesan lifestyle. Most notably she was rumored to have had an affair with King Leopold of Belgium; a postcard was printed even about that!
There is a speck of something on her collar bone area. When you hold the card at an angle, you can see a couple of impression lines across her hair. But overall, looking straight on, this card is in such excellent condition, it is, as the French would say: Incroyable! (Unbelievable!)
This is Reutlinger photography at its finest. You can even see the hair pin in her hair. The crown has been hand-detailed with gold paint. Printing is by the Société Industrielle de Photograpie (S.I.P. ) of Rueil, a Paris suburb; designated 29 Serie No. 8.
The undivided back tells us this card was printed in 1903 or earlier. The faded album corner impressions help explain its well preserved condition to a certain extent. Size: 3.5 by 5.5 inches.
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