Amongst a huge postcard collection I have just bought at auction is a small album of around 150 cards from an area I previously knew very little about, namely French Indo-China. The main body of the lot was humour (400 Tom Browne cards, for example) and glamour from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods (many Raphael Kirchner, Barribal, Montedoro, Brunelleschi etc).
But it was the Indo-China cards that sparked my early interest and I have been listing some of them for sale on Reynard Collectables delcampe.net website here.
French Indo China was in place from 1887 to 1954. It included what is now known as Vietnam but which at the time consisted of three territories – Tonkin (North), Annam (Centre) and Cochin China (South) – along with Cambodia, Laos and Kouang-Tcheou-Wan.
My postcard collection seems very much centred on the peoples of the territories rather than the topography and include anything from opium smokers to farmers to a number of groups at market. People from the different areas are also shown, such as Dapcau, Sontay, Haiphong, DaNang, Laos etc.
Many of the cards seem to have been accumulated by a soldier in the French Colonial Forces and there are a number of cards (mainly of people in the Dapcau area) addressed to him as “Monsieur J Bonc, Adjutant 10e Colonial, Dap-Cau”. All these cards have Dap-Cau postmarks so I suspect he was mailing the cards to himself to get a used card with proper local postmark – a stamp collector maybe?
There are several different publishers shown in these cards such as P.Dieulefils from Hanoi, M.Passignat also Hanoi, Plante from Saigon, Ponjade de Ladeveze etc.
As I mentioned there are well over 100 cards, none of them common, and a great opportunity to build a new collecting area or add to an existing one. For me it all helps to expand my knowledge of past and current world social history and geography. Fascinating stuff, and all available in Reynard Collectables delcampe store here!