This listing is for a rare Hélène Máté postcard, a mother and daughter in profile. This is one of three Máté cards I acquired during my trip to France earlier this year to the Paris postcard show. This one matches best, I think, with the red-stamped postcard of the lady and her beagles. If you look at the trio of cards, you'll see the differences in tone.
There is a light stain on the girl's sailor dress; wear on the corner tips as to be expected. Overall, considering its age, this card is in fine antique condition. Now, speaking of its age: although dated April 6, 1918, the undivided back tells us this card was actually printed in 1903 or earlier. It is a French 'carte postale' printed by C.T. & Cie (? no online info about this publisher); mailed in Portugal to Coimbra! Typical antique postcard size of about 3.5 by 5.5 inches.
Ilona Hélène Máté was born in Szeged, Hungary, in 1887 and died in Budapest in 1908. She is another one of those artists from the Golden Age of Postcards who left behind her work, but nothing much else is known. Although born in Hungary, according to the French postcard "Bible," Les Meilleures Cartes Postales d'Illustrateurs by Neudin, she was French.
Only 21 years of age when she died, this explains why her postcards are hard to find. She was just beginning her career. I am aware of only four designs by Maté. I love her style. I believe Maté may have been an artist ahead of her time. In the midst of the swirly, curly Art Nouveau period, she was paving the way for the next big thing: the Art Deco emphasis on clean lines and geometric patterns. She stuck to a limited color palette: black and white, red and shades of brown. Her figures are always wearing bold striped or checked patterns.
There are four cards in this rare series. In the last photo you'll see two more which I sold about a year ago. If you'd like to have a complete set, let me know and I'll do my best to find them. It may take months or even years, but ... isn't that what serious collections are all about?
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