Saturday, October 31, 2020

Albertine the French witch will cure your maladies

If I'm interpreting the postmarks correctly (see below), these French postcards were mailed in 1903, when President Émile Loubet was running the show. They feature "Little Albertine," who I'm going to call Good Witch Albertine. She's here to provide great remedies for great ills. (Aux grands maux lea grands remèdes.)

There are all sorts of great props in these postcards: a dagger, a spider, an egg, an artichoke, a bottle of crocodile tears, a chalice, a funnel, a creepy bald mannequin, animal horns, what appears to be a deformed piglet and much more. Clearly, they had some fun shooting the photographs for these postcards back in the day.

The top postcard contains the remedy for contre les peines de coeur, which is heartache. It involves eating an artichoke picked at midnight on a moonless night and a white hen's egg. And also wearing a hangman's rope as a belt.

The second postcard is contre la chute des cheveux, an anti-hair loss remedy. This one's more bizarre, and I can't read all of it, because the text is obscured by the witch's hat. But it involves "a night vase that has only been used for a young girl," wolf fat, mouse blood, bat wings, oil ... and apparently the wearing of a hat made of rabbit hair. Do not try this at home, bald persons!  

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