This postcard shows more wear than the quality standard I strive to offer. However, the image is such a standout that the signs of age are indeed pushed to the background. This is one of the more rare Arcimboldo-style interpretations of Napoleon as the conqueror. The detail and imagination in this design is incredible and quite a marvel. My favorite part is the horse head as Napoleon's nose. The heart of the image, the collage of Napoleon, is in perfect condition. Around him in the background, there are pin/tack holes, silvering and surface wear. I think it is the silvering that was causing me so much trouble as I attempted to capture for you what this card will look like in hand. It is a flat matte dark rich brown sepia postcard. The face is a creamy white. I've included direct scans as well as photos taken at different light. I've manipulated one photo to show the depth of darkness. In one instance, the light makes the card look much lighter than it is and at natural daylight the card looks more black. However, even the photos that don't capture the color accurately do show you the immense detail in the image and signs of age. Nothing to hide here! This is an outstanding surreal illustration. This card is typical antique postcard size, about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. The franking is not clear but it's 190-something.
And just a bit of trivia: Napoleon was not as short as some think; he was 5′ 7″.
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