This vintage French postcard delivers the greeting My sincere wishes of Happiness for the New Year (Mes sincères souhaits de Bonheur pour la Nouvelle Année). The female model is impersonating a telegram messenger boy, and could be said to be acting under false pretenses (though not illegally).
The stamp was placed on the front of the postcard, a custom especially common in France. Many early postcard collectors liked to have the stamp and picture visible at the same time when cards were placed in an album. Sometimes there would be a T.C.V. note in the stamp box on the reverse. This was an abbreviation for Timbre Cote Vue, notifying postal employees that the postage stamp was applied to the other side of the card.
The orientation and position of the stamp indicates that the sender was also sending another message using the Language of Stamps. There were many variations of the Language of Stamps that were printed on postcards or other publications (see http://riowang.blogspot.com/2011/12/language-of-stamps.html). The postcard below is an example I have on an old French postcard. According to this key, a stamp in the upper left corner of the card, with the stamp upside down and its top pointing down and to the left, means "Give me your heart" (Donne moi ton cœur).
It may be a long time until the New Year, but sincere wishes of happiness are welcome at any time, even when they are delivered under false pretenses..
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