Postcards--Belgium


Figure 1.--This card was postally used in Belgium in 1922. It is a DIX card. HBC rather doubts that Belgian boys actually wore bright yellow stripped sailor suits, in this case withba green collar. The text on the post card reads "Gage d'amitiť" which means "pledge of friendship".

We do not know anything about the Belgian postcard industry yet. Many look quite similar to French cards, at least in the fashion portrayed. Both Belgian and French post cards asppear to use rather fanciful colors to illustrate the fashions. Children were very popular subjects for these cards and might be used for New Years or other special days. This provides us many interesting glimpses of contemprary children's fashions. They were commonly dressed in fancy outfits. Sailor suits were a special favorite in Belgium. Of course people in the Flemish areas of Belgium might buy Dutch postcards. The language used, however, does not always tell us where a card was printed. There have been books published using the cards as historical documents. The books may focus on Belgian towns and cities or on specific topics. Collecting these cards is quite popular in Belgium. There are clubs set up to promte this activity. We notice the company names of Dix and Nor on some of the cards used postally in Belgium. These may be Belgian companies.

Belgian Post Card Industry

We do not know anything about the Belgian postcard industry yet. Many look quite similar to French cards, at least in the fashion portrayed. We notice the company names of Dix and Nor on some of the cards used postally in Belgium. These may be Belgian companies.

Images of Children

Children were very popular subjects for these cards and might be used for New Years or other special days. This provides us many interesting glimpses of contemprary children's fashions. The images portrayed appear somewhat fancier than what ordinary children might have worn, but still they represent a valuable source on contemporary fashion.

Chronology

Some old Belgian post cards are quite valuable. HBC begins to notice cards made in large numbers after the turn of the 20th centurty. Thus thecfashions displayed or often early 230th century fashions. The fashion of sending these cards with fancily dressed children seems to have declined in the 1920s. This most of the available images are of children from about 1900 to the early 1920s. HBC notes an interesting change taking place in the 1920s cards. Virtually all of the cards in the 1910s show boys wearing kneepants, knee-length pants with three ornmental buttons at the hem. After World War I (1914-18) some of the kneepants are worn above the knee, but beginning in the early 1920s the boys begin to be depicted in short pants rather than kneepants.

Fashions

Boys for Belgian postcsrds were commonly dressed in fancy outfits. Sailor suits were a special favorite in Belgium. Both Belgian and French post cards asppear to use rather fanciful colors to illustrate children's fashions. The colors involved seem brighter than cards I have notice in America and England. I somehow doubt, for examplem of Grench boys really wore bright yellow sailor suits--especially older boys. One suspectscthatvthese were white suits with the color painted on. The boys may have been even posed in white suits so that the color could have been more easily added on.

Language

Of course people in the Flemish areas of Belgium might buy Dutch postcards. The language used, however, does not always tell us where a card was printed.

Collecting Cards

There have been books published using the cards as historical documents. The books may focus on Belgian towns and cities or on specific topics. Collecting these cards is quite popular in Belgium. There are clubs set up to promte this activity.







Christopher Wagner






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Created: September 21, 2001
Last updated: September 22, 2001