History of colonial French North Africa in postcards

[Album - postcards]. [Postcard album from colonial French North Africa].

Algeria, Tunisia, and France, 1901-1913.

Folio (240 x 280 mm). 50 ff. with 151 postcards mounted in photo corners, many franked with manuscript additions.


Over 150 postcards from French North Africa, including Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco during their time as French colonies, and postcards from the invasion of Morocco. Some postcards include stamps and manuscript notes in various hands.

France invaded Algeria in 1830, Tunisia in 1881, and Morocco in 1907-12, starting with the invasion of Oudja and the bombardment of Casablanca in 1907. One notable postcard from Oudja bears witness to this particular event: undated but bearing the stamp of the 2nd Regiment of the Chasseurs d'Afrique stationed in Morocco from 1907-1913, it shows a group of Moroccan men and camels by a city wall. Its official caption reads, "Oudja - Indigenes preparant leur chargement". However, a French soldier adds a second caption: "Colonne d'Occupation d'Oujda Moroc".

Another postcard bears the official caption "Révolution Marocaine. Casablanca. Une rue pavoisée le jour du départ du Général d'Amade - 22 février 1909" and patriotically depicts a Casablanca street hung with French flags. The French general Albert Gérard d'Amade (1856-1941) had recently put down a rebellion in the south.

Among the machinations of militaries and nations, daily life and tourism continue regardless: favourite postcard scenes include group prayers at Ramadan, pottery and weaving, and many portraits identified variously as Arabs, Jews, Bedouins and members of the Ouled Naïl tribe. In Tunisia one might glimpse a Shell gas station or a panorama of the city of Tunis. A selection from Algeria comprises views of Algiers, the Grand Hotel du Sahara in Béni Ounif, the Palace of Ahmed-Bey in Constantine, and markets in Sidi Okba and Mostaganem. The latter market is described by a French visitor: "Ce marché arabe n'a que marchands arabes; mais les européens pauvres y vous achetés des quartiers de mouton a très bon compte: 2,50 f. le quartier! ... mais c'est mal tué et de bêtes très maigres". Some visitors were less thrilled: one card from Algiers reads "March, April, May '02 The same old place nearly every day Tired of it".

Intended for and used by European visitors and tourists, the collection documents the changing tides of North African relations with France through the colonial period.

Stamps have been removed from some postcards; otherwise in quite good condition.

Stock Code: BN#61536 Tags: , ,