Catharina Klein postcard

Catharina Klein

September 19, 2018

I am obsessed with vintage florals. I love old floral everything – paintings, fabrics, postcards, silk scarves, ceramics. The lot! I’m also a bit of a minimalist, which doesn’t always sit happily with this particular obsession, but I make space for my beloved collection of vintage floral postcards.

I find most of my cards in French flea markets, picking up a few each time I have the pleasure of a weekend in Paris, which is usually tagged on to a visit to the biannual trade show, “Maison et Objet”.

There’s a tiny shop dedicated to postcards, within the Marché aux Puces de Saint Ouen, where the cards have been meticulously sorted and categorised and where I could spend hours just browsing these little works of art. This love of vintage floral postcards introduced me to the artist Catharina Klein (1861-1929).

Catharina Klein chromo-litho postcard

Catharina was born in Eylau, East Prussia (now Kallinigrad, a Russian province separated by the Baltic States from mainland Russia) and moved to Berlin where she ran a studio, earning her living through her talent in the male dominated art world of that period, which was a remarkable feat. She rode the crest of chromo lithography at the end of the 19th and into the 20th century. Sadly, very few original paintings still exist.

Catharina Klein roses on black

My friend, wallpaper artist Deborah Bowness, created our Caravan Postcards wallpaper from an antique postcard screen that sat as a backdrop in my shop.

Deborah Bowness Caravan Postcards Wallpaper

I also love the postcards that Frank Design has created for my shop and business over the years. I think Catharina would approve!

Caravan Style C postcard by Frank DesignCaravan Style flowers postcard by Frank Design