Here is a great lot of 7 postcards representing the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
- Some are used and stamped
- Some are used but not stamped
- Some are unused.
Some of the pictures are scanned, and not taken with a camera, and some others were taken with a camera. I did my best to reproduce the real colours of the postcards, and sometimes used a colour balance tool to correct differences. However, please note that colours always look a bit different from one computer screen to the other.
Please remember that sticking postcards in an album may damage them and decrease their value.
1) Let us start, logically, with the oldest one:
This card dates from the very beginning of the 20th century. It looks hand painted, although I can not guarantee it is.
The text on the top left of the card explains when the monument was built and what it represents.
On the back of the card, somebody wrote: "To my new English girlfriend."
This card is in excellent condition, and measures 14 cm x 9 cm
(Please do not take into account the fact the two pictures show the card in different dimensions)
2) The second card was posted in 1931, although the picture shows an older Paris, and was certainly made in the 1910s. There is a 1931 colonial exhibition stamp on it. The date on the card shows 26 April 31, that is to say before the opening of this exhibition (opened 6 May 31), which is very interesting as it proves that they started advertising for this exhibition, and issuing its commemorative stamps, even before the opening!
This card was posted in Gare du Nord (the railway station where you take your Eurostar nowadays) by a British tourist, who announces that they are on their way back to England. I can not read the rest.
It is in good condition, but the ink of the stamp can be seen on the front. Also, the bottom left corner is a bit damaged.
It measures 13.9 cm x 8.9 cm
3) The third card was posted in April 1950 to Liverpool. It says that Paris in spring is lovely and sunny, and that the shops are "très chic" (in French). It has the 1949 fifteen francs "Marianne" stamp on it.
It is in overall good condition, with signs of age and some light stains on the back (which are much more visible on the photo, as the contrast is bigger). The pressure of the ink stamp is also visible on the front of the card if you hold it in a certain angle. The corners is slightly damaged.
The card measures 15 cm x 10.4 cm
4) The fourth card is also from the 1950s, maybe very early 1960s. It is unused and undated, but an observation reveals its (approximate) date:
- The car and the bus are 1950s
- You can not see, inside the Arch, the skyline of "La Defense", which is Paris' business center, as the first towers were built, in this neighbourhood, in the early 1960s.
It is in acceptable condition, with some signs of age. Some light stains on the back (especially at the bottom)
The corners are a bit damaged.
There is a damage in the centre of the card, as if it had been folded. It is visible on the front of the card.
The card measures 15 cm x 10.5 cm
5) The fifth card is also unused and undated, but the style of the postcode written on the back allows us to date it: this card was made in, or after 1972, as postcode with five figures were introduced in France that year. The style of the cars and the bus suggest that this card is not much more recent than 1972.
It is in very good condition, and measures 14.5 cm x 9.8 cm
You can see, between the Arch, the very first towers of Paris' business center, which is called La Défense. see details in link mentioned above. Nowadays, the skyline has changed as new towers have been built or replaced the old ones.
6) The sixth postcard is used. It was posted in August 1971, but the picture shows a 1960s Paris. In the bottom right corner, you can see the back of one of the most popular French cars of the 1950s and 1960s: the Citroen DS.
It was sent to the USA. "If you look closely, you can see people standing on top of the arch", says Frank, the tourist who wrote the card.
It is in good condition, although the corners (especially the top left one) are very slightly damaged.
It measures 14.8 cm x 10.5 cm.
7) Finally, the seventh card is a very beautiful aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe and the surrounding avenues. This place is often called the Etoile (the star) as the avenues form a sort of star around the monument. It was posted to Denmark in April 1976, but was made prior to 1972 as there is no complete 5 figures postcode on the address of the publisher. The picture was probably taken at the end of the 1960s or very early 1970s.
It was posted but has no stamp (and no trace of the removal of a stamp). So either the person forgot to post it, or finally put the card in an envelope. In the past, in France, cards were not treated as priority mail, and took a few days to arrive, unless you placed them in an envelope.
It is in very good condition, and all four corners are intact.
It measures 14.7 cm x 10.4 cm.