Vintage Disneyana in Europe
French Postcards

by Didier Ghez

They say Frenchmen talk a lot, they certainly wrote a lot in the '30s. No country, be it England, Belgium or Germany, has had a larger and wider production of Disney postcards than France during that time.

The earliest cards to be found in that country were not French, though, but Germans, being printed by W. Hagelberg A.G. from early 1931 to around 1934.

They are typical of the pre-Kamen era. Mickey is close to always five-fingered and almost foul speaking. "Pleasures of love only last one day, sorrows of love..." songs he on one of them, "Give me the dough !" shouts he on the other.

Two very dissimilar types of cards, with French captions, were mostly exported in France by W. Hagelberg. One includes crude but very nicely designed Mickey Mouse large enough to fill the whole card. On those, Mickey is very often portrayed playing music.

The other type, printed on slicker paper features families of Mickey Mice involved in any possible activity you might think of (Well... almost): from smoking the cigar to playing soccer, from drinking alcohol to riding a horse, from enjoying a cup of Champaign to driving a car at top speed. And, back in Germany, W. Hagelberg chose even stranger scenes.

One French editor, however, soon understood the interest there was in winning over the public that watched Disney movies, read Disney albums or enjoyed the highly successful Journal de Mickey.

Séphiriadès, as it was called before the war, produced three very long series of collectible postcards numbered on the front: Snow White which includes 25 different cards, The Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood and Pinocchio, the latter being composed of only 24 cards.

Knowing that Pinocchio was released as late as 1945 in France, makes the existence of this pre-war series particularly interesting and hard to find (in its original, Séphiriadès, printing), since it was produced only during a few months.

All those cards reproduce Blue Ribbon Books illustrations.

Apart from those, Séphiriadès also created some beautiful and more original Easter cards, April fool's day cards as well as "one shots" featuring Mickey, his nephews, Donald, the Easter Bunnies or the Three Little Pigs, all extremely "on model" in terms of design and even coloring, which make them highly sought collectibles.

After the war, Séphiriadès became Superluxe and carried on the publishing of the Snow White and Pinocchio series under its new name. In addition, it launched at least 7 different new series which included: Bambi, Dumbo, Pedro, Saludos Amigos, Bongo (all of those being numbered) and a Donald Duck (not numbered) one.

In the later, the captions are often rather tough, like in this scene where Donald founds Pluto destroying his shoes and exclaims: "I'll make new ones with your own skin !" The production of Superluxe stopped with the launching of the Cinderella (numbered) series composed of 25 cards.

One can not write an article about French postcards without mentioning one of the best Disney postcard range ever produced, be it only after the war: the Tobler series by Georges Lang-Paris.

After the re-launching of Le Journal de Mickey in 1952, the Swiss chocolate Tobler decided to offer in each of its bars a free Disney card. An album existed to collect them. Up to Peter Pan, every animated feature was represented, making the series the largest of all time.


W. Hagelberg A.G.

$ 25-35

Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood Séphiriadès:

$ 20-25

Snow White Séphiriadès :

$ 20-25

Pinocchio Séphiriadès:

$ 25-30

Easter Mickey Séphiriadès:

$ 20-30

Unusual cards by Séphiriadès:

$ 20-35

Snow White by Superluxe:

$ 15-25

Pinocchio by Superluxe:

$ 15-25

Bambi by Superluxe:

$ 15-25

Dumbo by Superluxe:


Saludos Amigos by Superluxe:


Pedro by Superluxe:


Bongo by Superluxe:


Donald by Superluxe:

$ 15-25

Cinderella by Superluxe:

$ 15-25

Tobler by Georges Lang:

$ 15-20

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