Romance comes to all in Summer, Spring or Fall
It came the day that I met you
And though you may seem a sweet and happy dream
Yet all the time you knew it was untrue
There's nothing left for me of days that used to be
I live in memory among my souvenirs
Some letters tied with blue, a photograph or two
I see a rose from you among my souvenirs
words by Edgar Leslie, music by Horatio Nicholls, 1927
This tiny brass souvenir album from France certainly contains "a photograph or two." Just 1.5 inches tall and one inch high, it is beautifully embossed with an art nouveau pattern.
Delightfully detailed, the edges are molded to appear as the edges of the interior pages.
It opens to reveal an octet of early photographs of very buxom beauties in various poses "plastique."
Although at first place these luscious ladies appear to be nude, they are in fact clad in form-fitting maillots.
I have seen some of these same images reproduced on "naughty" French postcards from around 1900, such as this bejeweled belle, who appeared on a postcard signed "Reutlinger." Léopold-Émile Reutlinger took over the Parisian photography Studio Reutlinger from his father and became renown for his portraits of the most famous, and infamous, beauties of the Belle Epoque, from opera singers and actresses to performers from the stages of the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergères. He also produced artistic erotic pictures reproduced widely on postcards.
Another Reutlinger picture, this one a portrait of Caroline Otéro. "La Belle," as she was known, was a Spanish actress and dancer who starred in Les Folies Bergère in the early 1900s. A great beauty famed for her hypnotic dark eyes and curvaceous physique, she was one of the last great French courtesans. Although blurred, the Reutlinger signature and "Paris" are just visible in the lower right corner.