If you'd like to add a historical milestone to your postcard collection, this is it. This is the first issued "carte postale" from France. It measures about 4.75 by just over 3 inches. I think there might have been a stamp affixed in the top right at one time. You can see some residual light glue-like stains. But overall, for a piece of paper that's 144 years old, this card is in fine condition. It's "incroyable!" (unbelievable:)
PLEASE note: in my personal collection, I have a card like this dated 1877 with a Paris address. If you would prefer a postally franked and written on card, let me know and I'll see what I can get from across the Atlantic. If you specifically want a Paris address, it might take me longer to find one of those but it's possible. If any French address works, I can get it sooner.
The typical antique postcard size of 3.5 by 5.5 wouldn't be introduced until 1878. France and Turkey were the last two European countries to adopt postcards. In his book "Paris Postcards: The Golden Age," Leonard Pitts describes vividly how France reluctantly finally introduced postcards to their mail system. He gives the date of Dec. 19, 1872 as to when the issue was voted on; this card says according to the law of Dec. 20. Quibble aside, do check out Pitts' book and learn how we've a Polish immigrant to thank for all these incredible French carte postales!
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Unique French Postcards for the Serious Collector and Other Delights from France!
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