Ephemera as art and history

Here’s a recent acquisition for my collection of interesting ephemera. I scored it from an online seller and although I didn’t know much about it when I purchased the item, I have learned a bit through some research.

On the back of the post card are the words “Union Postale Universelle” (Universal Postal Union, which is the name of an organization that fosters international postal cooperation.

A Russian-language site suggests that the postcard was produced in 1906 and features an allegorical depiction of a May Day celebration in front of the altar of human freedom. Another site suggests the postcard was a issued in honor of the State Duma, which was dissolved in 1917.

On the banner, the words read “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”

The pedestal features the words “Of Mankind” in German, an image of Karl Marx with his name in Russian on either side (and in German within the circular image). A form of the word “humanity” appears in Russian at the bottom of the pedestal.

At the very bottom of the picture is the inscription “1 May – Proletarian holiday.”


Click on the image to view a larger picture.
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