SURREALISM. La carte surréaliste, Première Série. Vingt et une cartes. [Paris]: [Georges Hugnet], [1937].



La carte surréaliste, Première Série. Vingt et une cartes.
[Paris]: [Georges Hugnet], [1937].

Original uncut sheet (659 × 511mm) of 21 numbered black-and-white postcards printed in collotype on green paper. Titles in French and English, with one card additionally translated into German, to verso with ‘Post Card’ and ‘Printed in France’ markings and the printed faux postal cancellation ‘La carte surréaliste garantie’; edges / margins toned, several closed tears to the top and right edges, lightly cockled, a little light soiling and creasing. A very good example..

La carte surréaliste is a series of 21 postcards initiated and edited by Georges Hugnet, who became involved with the Surrealist movement in the 1930s after being introduced to André Breton by their mutual friend Tristan Tzara. Hugnet continued to contribute to the movement until 1939 when he was excommunicated by Breton for refusing to end his friendship with former surrealist Paul Éluard.

The participating artists and their depicted artworks are: 1. Marcel Duchamp ‘Ampoule contenant 50 c.c. d’air de Paris / Ampoule containing 50 c.c. air of Paris’; 2. André Breton ‘Poème-objet / Poem-object’; 3. Max Ernst ‘Le triomphe de l’amour / Triumph of Love’; 4. Paul Éluard ‘On tue comme on respire / They kill as easily as they breathe’; 5. Dora Maar ’29, rue d’Astorg’; 6. Joan Miró ‘Horaire / Time-table’; 7. Salvador Dalí ‘La mélancolie gâteuse des chiens comme une vertigineuse descente en ski / Senile mélancholy [sic] of dogs like a dizzy ski-glide’; 8. Hans Bellmer ‘Deux demi-soeurs / Step-sisters’; 9. Man Ray ‘Ce qui nous manque à tous / What we all lack’; 10. Yves Tanguy ‘Le marchand de sable / The sandman’; 11. Oscar Domínguez ‘Ouverture / Opening’; 12. Hans Arp ‘Côté à ouvrir / Open this side’; 13. Georges Hugnet ‘Au pied de la Lettre / Word for word’; 14. Meret Oppenheim ‘Ma Gouvernante / My Nurse / Meine kindermädchen’; 15. René Magritte ‘La solution de rébus / The key to the riddle’; 16. Jacqueline Breton ‘Pont du demi-sommeil / Bridge of drowsiness’; 17. Roland Penrose ‘La Terre en bouteille / Bottled earth’; 18. Marcel Jean ‘Paris à vol d’oiseau / Bird’s eye view of Paris’; 19. Wolfgang Paalen ‘A l’échelle du désir / The scale of desire’; 20. Nusch Eluard ‘Bois des Iles / Precious woods’; 21. Pablo Picasso ‘Posisson d’Avril / April fool’.

Reports of the total edition vary with references to either 250 copies or 360, with the print run on different coloured papers including pink, green, and yellow. Uncut sheets such as the present copy are rare, the only other examples we could locate were offered in the Daniel Filipacchi sale at Christies in 2004 where it realised €8,800, and (possibly the same) at Christies in 2017 where it made €8,812.

OCLC locates 10 copies in the published state (i.e. cut to postcard size and issued in a card portfolio), but no uncut sheets such as the present example.


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