This is one of three Art Nouveau Gala Peter chocolate advertising postcards I have available. As you can see in the last photo, the trio of cards match quite well and would make a lovely triptych matted and framed. Always buy Gala Peter "... pour croquer le premier des chocolats au lait" -- for the first bite of milk chocolate. Daniel Peter (1836–1919) was a Swiss chocolatier. He was one of the first chocolatiers to make milk chocolate by adding powdered milk to the chocolate. When Peter came up with the process of making milk chocolate, he had a problem with removing the water from the milk, which caused mildew to form. It was not until he enlisted the cooperation of Henri Nestlé, then a baby-food manufacturer, that finally, in 1875 after seven years of effort, he was able to bring the product onto the market. Later, in 1879, the two joined to form the Nestlé Company. (Thanks to Wiki for this little history lesson:)
No artist name is given but this lovely lady who is adorning herself with a freshly picked sunflower is often attributed to Raphael Kirchner (1876 - 1917). Unfortunately, the plight of many artists during postcard's Golden Age was for their work to go uncredited by the advertiser they designed for. I have to confess that the title of this card had me scratching my head. In French, the word for sunflower is "tournesol." So I couldn't understand why the drawing was called 'Le Speil' which doesn't make sense in French. Speil is German for 'game.' However, see the "p" as an O on top of an L and you get the word "soleil," which is French for sun. Now, it makes more sense, but it's such a strange way to arrange the letters. I can't help but wonder if the artist had design space issues or if there's some pun intended. Indeed, when a woman puts flowers in her hair, the teasing game begins ... .
It is almost impossible to see but on the left edge of this gorgeous Art Nouveau postcard, there is printed "Lith O. De Rycker Mende Brussels." My favorite postcard site, Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City, describes O. de Rycker (1895-1928) as a " master lithographer," "one of the most famous producers of posters in Europe," and adds, "They also printed many artist signed postcards chromolithography ... ."
Franked 1905, the undivided back actually dates the printing of this card to 1903 or earlier.
Size: about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. The top right corner is lightly creased. The imprint of the circled 118 stamp verso bleeds onto the front and can be seen by the Gala Peter red letters. But overall, for its age, this card is in fine antique condition.
The chrysanthemum card in the series is listed here: http://www.rubylane.com/item/274812-7424/Art-Nouveau-Lithograph-Le-Chrsyanteme The rose card is listed here: http://www.rubylane.com/item/274812-7520/Art-Nouveau-Lithograph-LA-ROSE-Gala
There are four cards in this series and if you would like to complete it, I would be happy to help you finish your collection. The fourth one is of a woman picking lilies. This is not a common series to find but I wouldn't say it's rare either. The trick is to find one in good condition because the light colored design is often soiled and blemished.
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