The last time I had a full-color postcard of French actress Molé-Reymond was in June of 2014. Quality art reproductions of this famous portrait by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun are hard to come by. This superlative card was printed by the Stengel Co. of Dresden. My favorite postcard site, the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York, says that Stengel became the largest producer of postcards in the world and "Having expanded into chromolithography, they became a major publisher and printer of fine art cards in their World’s Galleries series. Their chromolithographs employed fourteen to twenty-two litho-stones to achieve subtle coloration. They are possibly the finest quality postcards ever produced." What makes this card even extra special is the fact that it was sent out by the company itself with New Year greetings! I couldn't find information online about Paul Sebastian per se, but he apparently was a distributor or employee of Stengel. Verso, the card is stamped "Drucksachen" (printed material). The sender got a discounted postal rate by not adding an additional written message. I can't make out the German franking but with the divided back, this would make the card printed around 1904 or later. Typical antique postcard size, about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. This card has some errant specks here and there but the Stengel quality is well preserved. Extra thick cardstock, no creases and richly saturated colors.
Vigée Le Brun's original oil painting of this French actress hangs in the Louvre! Note that Stengel gives the actress's name as Raymond and the artist's name as Vigier! Are these typo misprints the reason this card was recycled as a freebie New Year card?:)
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