“Pictures of nude women were amongst the earliest imagery to find their way onto postcards and some of the most sought after. Because censors destoyed millions of nude postcards and they continue to be banned from the mail it is difficult to ascetain a full and accurate history of them. Despite continual efforts to eliminate these cards they have always been published due to high demand and remain popular among collectors today.”


“A French postcard, titled Une Almée, captures a woman who is both bare-breasted and facially veiled. The figure is indeed alluringly portrayed, with her arm raised to lift her breasts into more visibility. Images of Almées can be found on the orientalist canvases of painters such as Gerome and Toulouse-Lautrec.”


“The French magazine La Beaute, was a major source for nude pictures. They sold photographic based images of poses in the nude for the use of artists, but these cards were greatly coveted by the general public. Though made in Europe their largest market was in the United States. These types of cards were most popular in the 1870’s but this type of card had been manufactured as soon as technology provided a convenient way to reproduce photographs. Most of their backs are completely blank without any postal markings making them difficult to precisely date. They are referred to as postcards only because of the similar size, but they were illegal to mail. Actual postcards with nudes on them did not appear until 1900 or so.”

all text and images via The Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City

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