Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Early 20th century hand-tinted postcards of Laos

Before the advent of affordable color printing, many postcards from Laos were hand-tinted by the French, or at least, people hired by the French to send back home. Here are a few interesting selections that have been spotted for auction recently at various trading sites internationally. 

There is some question to how accurate the tints are to the reality, but in any case it is an interesting glimpse to the days gone by. Most of these are presumed to have been made between 1890 and 1954. In some cases, even if it is not an accurate depiction of the colors, to me, the imagery almost transcends the documentary and passes into the fully artistic, although these are all in service of the Colonial Gaze.

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