There are a number of items which promote lace as a tourism activity in general. I don’t mean advertisements from retailers, and the whole subject of postcards is a topic in itself. This post focuses on travel posters, and hopefully more examples will come to light as a result of this article.
The first poster is from Sabena, which was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001. Due to some complicated internal financal troubles, and also the sudden, crippling decrease in overseas airline traffic just after 9/11, Sabena ceased operations on November 7th, 2001. The poster has a beautiful image full of light. The paper is extremely delicate and it is remarkable that this example has survived with minimal defects.
The Sabena poster is quite modern, but there are beautiful older examples. The Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée (usually known more as PLM), was created between 1858 and 1862 through the merger of the earlier Paris-Lyon and Lyon-Méditerranée companies. Over the years it added a number of smaller railways. PLM operated chiefly in the south-east of France, with a main line which connected Paris to the Côte d’Azur by way of Dijon, Lyon, and Marseille. The company was also the operator of railways in Algeria. The privately held PLM was nationalized in 1938 into the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français. PLM’s network became the south-eastern region of SNCF. (Adapted from the Wikipedia entry)
Railway companies were quite aggressive in their advertising, and hired outstanding artists to produce travel posters. P. L. M produced three attractive posters with lace themes to promote Le Puy-en-Velay. Full-size reproductions are available today, and you can also find smaller modern versions in postcard format.
1898 P.L.M. poster by Frédéric Alexianu, also known as F. Hugo d’Alesi (1849-1906 of French-Romanian descent), Atelier H. d’Alési, 4, Place Monge, Paris. He is known for his meticulous work, often requiring up to 20 color plates from the printer. An original of this poster is about 29″ wide.
Left: Produced by artist Joseph de la Nézière (1873-1943) in 1925 for the Etape des Autocars P.L.M. entre Grenoble et Vichy. Printed by Blondel La Rougery, Paris.
Right: I only know this one from a modern postcard – hopefully information on the original will turn up shortly.
Since LaceNews is a little boring sometimes, I’ll leave you with one more item. This ‘advertising card’ for PLM is one of a set of 16 produced in 1987 by erotic artist Charles Berg. Somehow I doubt it was ever really produced for PLM, so the origins are a bit obscure. Click on Berg to see the complete set, if you dare. In particular, note the strategic placement of the pins on the pillow.