Rare postcard with a possible coded message. Peggy Guggenheim.
Rare postcard with a possible coded message

Rare postcard with a possible coded message

Postcard measuring 4 x 5 3/4 inches (102 x 145 mm), writing on both sides, sent through mail. A rare postcard from World War II signed by art collector Peggy Guggenheim to "Monsieur M. Lefebvre," likely Maurice Lefebvre, the brother of her lover René. Guggenheim used a postcard that was meant to be used for communicating between Vichy France and the Occupied Zone. Guggenheim sent the postcard, dated 24 February 1941, from near Grenoble in Vichy France to Lefebvre at 19 rue Vavin in Paris. That was the address of the Lefebvres' moving and art-supplies company in Paris, which was under Nazi occupation. In the postcard, Guggenheim is obsessed with sheets and linens ("draps"), mentioning them no fewer than four times. She wants Lefebvre to send her linens and books. In return she'll send some cheese. Why the obsession with linens? She doesn't disclose it on the postcard, of course, but at this time she is hiding her art collection in a room at the Grenoble museum with the knowledge of the museum director. Since Guggenheim is Jewish and is trapped in Vichy France, she quite understandably wants to get both herself and her collection out of the country. As she recounts in her 1946 autobiography, her lover René joined her in Grenoble and told her it would be easy to send everything out if packed as "household objects," meaning linens, books, and the like. So here she is asking repeatedly for linens, likely so she and René could wrap the paintings. "...René and I set to work and together we packed them up in five cases with my linens and blankets," she writes in her autobiography. They spent two months packing everything and managed to send the collection safely to New York. Guggenheim got out of France shortly after the collection left the country. (Peggy Guggenheim, Out of This Century, The Dial Press, 1946, pages 258-261). A rare postcard from Peggy Guggenheim's time in Vichy France. Item #2082

CONDITION: Heavily toned, a couple of small stains. Very Good.

Price: $750.00

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