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A French postcard is a small, postcard-sized piece of cardstock featuring a photograph of a nude or semi-nude woman. Such erotic cards were produced in great volume, primarily in France, in the late 19th and early 20th century. The term was adopted in the United States, where such cards were not legally made.[1] The cards were sold as postcards, but the primary purpose was not for sending by mail, as they would have been banned from delivery. French street vendors, tobacco shops and a variety of other vendors bought the photographs for resale to tourists.


French postcard imagesEdit

A number of photographers and studios produced French postcards, with some of them featuring particularly popular models.

Orientalist imagesEdit

Many photographers and studios specialized in images with an Orientalist theme.


  1. ^ The Color of Words: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Ethnic Bias in the United States, Philip Herbst. Intercultural Press, 1997, page 86
  2. ^ De l'académisme à la photo de charme, Christian Bourdon. Paris: Marval, 2006 ISBN 978-2862343945
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 

Further readingEdit

French Postcards: An Album of Vintage Erotica, Martin Stevens. Universe Books/Rizzoli, 2007, ISBN 978-0789315342