Five French "Poisson d'Avril" Postcards
[various]: [various], Circa 1940s. 14 x 9 cm. Divided back postcards of little boys with fish, printed in b&w with some color. All but one stamped and postmarked, to different addressees; holograph text in French. Light soiling to some versos, moderate wear to a few cards. Very Good.
Mixed lot of April Fools' postcards, or, as the French call it, April Fish. April 1st has long been a day for pranks in France, with some tracing the origin to the 1564 switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, while others link it to more ancient customs. As for the fish side of things: it could have started due to prohibitions on fishing in April, meaning seeing a fish then would have to be a joke, or it could have to do with Carnaval being connected to fisherman, with some locales tossing dried herring at the opening of the festival. Or one of many other theories. At any rate, fish and silliness go hand-in-hand on that day, as these charming cards attest.