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.

At that moment

Postcard of family in the garden, ca. 1905, via pellethepoet on flickr (under CC license)Pelle’s notes say it was purchased from an eBay seller in Tramore, Waterford, Ireland.

The low-hanging hammock on the left swayed right at the moment the shutter clicked. There are actually two women in the hammock, and there’s a strange blur behind it in the center — probably a child running past. The girl on the grass has tumbled (out of the hammock?), and her legs are up.  On the left, the blond girl on the bench has noticed and looks about to laugh.

For a better look, click on the picture — or on “via” above and then on the larger image there.

Normandy courtyard


The courtyard of Le Normandy Hotel, Deauville, France, August 8, 1920, an autochrome by Georges Chevalier, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

Such pretty little green chairs; here’s another photo. . .

Inside the Cour Normande, ca. 1925, a postcard by Levy et Neurdein Reunis, via pellethepoet on flickr, under CC license.

The 5-star hotel was built in an Anglo-Norman style in 1912.  It appeared in the 1996 “The Murder on the Links” episode of Agatha Christies’ Poirot with David Suchet. Today, the courtyard looks much the same as it did in the 1920s, although the chairs and tables have been replaced with more little trees.

The image at the top 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 photo at the top (A 23 019) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.