CdV, Cyprus

“The magic carpet,” ca. 1860s, via pellethepoet on flickr (under CC license).

The picture was a carte de visite (CdV or visiting card), a type of small photograph patented in Paris in 1854. Exchanging them among family and friends became extremely popular worldwide in the 1860s. Their use was displaced in the 1880s by the larger “cabinet cards”  (and later by the home snapshot). Pelle’s notes say this one was purchased from an eBay seller in Paralimni, Cyprus.

Les Mées, France


Women resting after working in a garden or vineyard, Les Mées, Basses-Alpes, France, April 13, 1916, by Georges Chevalier, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Départment of Hauts-de-Seine.

I love their hats. Les Mées is in Haute or upper Provence.  The area — very dry and hot — is one of the least densely populated in France.

This autochrome is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photo (A 7 954) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.