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This is one of the harder-to-find postcards featuring Montedoro's flamboyant and exotic style. I think of it as an Art Deco-Asian fusion. A pearl-skinned lady models a Chinese red gown with a rooster design and sexy draping sleeves with cutout circles. The feather theme is repeated in her matching hand-fan. Her red-capped head is adorned with a towering curly tipped hat, perhaps made of pearls? These bold colors are set against a muted backdrop of black, gold and blue.
Montedoro is one of those artists who left behind a distinctive body of work and yet there is not a lot known bout him. His signature at bottom right is M. Montedoro. A special thanks to blogger Willy or Won't He for this informative bit of information: "Marco Montedoro was an Italian artist who fled to America during World War II and eventually became head designer at New York’s Radio City Music Hall." Verso, the printer's line of information notes "Milano 25-9-17 No. 2235." I'm not sure if the 25-9-17 is a date (Sept. 25, 1917) but most reference works on this piece simply date it to the 1920s. My online search came up with one more interesting note: After WWII, Italy faced a toy shortage and Montedoro was one of the artists who helped design and hand paint puppets! Also to help the war effort, he illustrated propaganda postcards, usually cartoon-like illustrations. It's his Art Deco fashion postcards that are rare. We are told not to use the word 'rare' because Google throws it out of the search engines when used in titles since sellers often abuse the use of that term. When I have a postcard that I know it could take me YEARS to find another copy of, I call that rare. This Montedoro postcard falls into that category.
This card is in overall mint condition for its age. There are album impressions at the corners. Note that the direct scan captures the deep Chinese red-orange color more accurately; the photos makes the dress look more orange. However, I always like to include photos taken by natural daylight. I took one at an angle in an effort to show that this card has almost no surface wear. It has been lovingly, carefully preserved for almost a century. Size: about 3.5 by 5.5 inches.
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Exotic Art Deco Asian Fashion by Italian Artist Montedoro Unused Postcard
$260 USD SOLD
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