This is a rare full color postcard featuring the unique work of Italian artist Domenico Mastroianni (1876-1962). His signature is at the bottom right corner. Almost fading into the background is a gold Bonne Annee (Happy New Year) French greeting, which is more visible in the photo taken at an angle. This scene is lusciously fantastic, rich in shades of purple from lavender to eggplant. The clay swirls, curves and flows in Art Nouveau style in the fairies' gowns. One has dragonfly wings and the other has butterfly wings.
The Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York, my favorite postcard web site, points out that most of Mastroianni's works were produced as monochrome postcards. So, it's quite a coup to find this enchanting design in color. "Sculptogravure was an informal name for the process of reproducing the sculpted clay relief pieces of ... Mastroianni in print. These were mostly produced as monochrome postcards though some color cards, which were usually referred to as sculptochromies were also made." Indeed, verso, you'll note that that is exactly how the printer, Alfred Noyer, described this card: Sculptochromie. Copyright 1914.
Size: about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. Signs of age around the edges but overall, in fine antique condition. The cardstock is of exceptional quality. The French message scribbled on the back is a bit of a mystery with the '89' notation. Most folks at the turn of the century wrote much neater, so I hesitate to think the reference is to 1889. If I'm reading the scribbling right, it refers to Fetes Mere (Mother's Day), so my theory is that the writer gave this antique postcard to his mother as a Mother's Day gift in 1989.
This is one of several Mastroianni postcards I have listed. Just type his name in my search box window and you'll see the others available, too.
Direct scans are brutal in showing every speck and spot on a card. The hi res scan is like looking at the card through a jeweler's loupe. You'll see things not visible to the naked eye. So I like to suggest that when you have the postcard view on your computer screen, push your chair back several feet. That will give you a more accurate idea of what the card will look like in hand.
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