This French Christmas postcard is written on but not dated; however, I feel confident in saying it is pre-WWI. It is a real photo that has been color tinted by hand: dabs of pink, blue and green highlight the toys in the huge basket that Santa holds.
I have seen Santa postcards with the studio model wearing a bald cap or fake beard. I think this guy is the real Santa! Wavy gray beard, mostly bald, wrinkles, and has a big nose -- he is a perfect stand-in for Pere Noel, as the French call him.
I like the backside of this antique French Joyeux Noel postcard almost as much as the front. Look at the child's cursive handwriting: "happy noel and good kisses to my dearest mother from your little francois. a kiss to my grandma and to quiquet (sic??)"
This card shows its age a bit: creases corners as well as a crease by Santa's elbow. But remarkably, the matte finish card shows little surface wear.
Size: about 3.5 by 5.5 inches.
Unique French Postcards for the Serious Collector and Other Delights from France!
I'm Shopping at the Second Largest Flea Market in France and Discovering the Brittany Region! See You in November!