Wow, life in France in the 1950s seemed to be all dancing girls, booze and cigarettes. Wait a minute, that is pretty much what France is like now too…except maybe for some extra student protesters and strikes…isn’t it? At least seemed that way when I lived there a decade ago :)

Some weeks ago I came across a wonderfully printed and presented French magazine from Dec 1951 at a small local antique fair. It was entitled ‘Plaisir de France’. The pages were all wonderfully preserved, and the magazine was absolutely filled with beautiful photos and the most fabulous illustrated advertisements. It was a ‘high society’ travel and leisure publication that is clearly geared towards the highest of society. I just had to have it.

What always strikes me with any advertising from this era, is the plethora of liquor and cigarette ads. In particular liquor. Almost the entire magazine is filled with liquor ads of huge variety! Cognac, wine, whiskey…take your pick. How great would these be for a ‘man cave’?


And then there are the ciggies:

And well…you can’t have all this drunken smoking going on without some girls with great legs too, right?


I guess there was not much stigma about bare legs by 1951 in France.

Now remember, I am not an ephemera or book expert, so despite the fact that it likely with horrify all such people in the world, I must admit the first thing I could think of with this magazine, was: ohhhh, I can’t wait to cut out all those great ads and frame them!!!

And well, now, the deed is done. I have selected the ones that best match my decor, squirreled those away to be framed and hung over the Christmas break, and decided to share the rest with the world. I always hope to find good homes for such awesome items. Some are now available through my etsy page, with more to come. Check out some more wonderfully retro ads here.   Sigh, I miss the French.

Christa Pirl

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