04 May 2018

Ed. Ballerini & Fratini

One of the most renowned Italian postcard publishers was B.F.F. edit. Full name was Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini and the second F in the abbreviation came from Firenze, Florence in English, where the firm was located. Ballerini & Fratini started to publish film and film star postcards in the early 1920s when the Italian cinema was still booming. In the later 1920s, after the Italian film industry had collapsed, B.F.F. focused on international stars. Later they distributed in Italy star postcards from the French publisher Europe and the German Ross Verlag. In the 1930s, Italian film stars were popular again and till the end of the 1950s, B.F.F. issued thousands of star postcards. If the numbering on the postcards is chronological, we dare to question. However, Ballerini & Fratini still exists today and is still located in Florence.

Pola Negri
Italian postcard by Ed. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still of Pola Negri in Good and Naughty (Malcolm St. Clair, 1926).

Italia Almirante in L'Arzigogolo
Italian postcard by Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 204. Photo Scoffone. Italia Almirante Manzini as Violante in the film L'Arzigogolo (Mario Almirante 1924), adaptation of the play by Sem Benelli.

Il fornaretto di Venezia
Italian postcard by Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 270. Photo: Alba Film. Publicity still for Il fornaretto di Venezia (Mario Almirante, 1923). Caption: The arrest in the laguna.

Greta Nissen and William Collier in The Wanderer (1925)
Italian postcard by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze (Florence), no. 458. Photo: SAI Filmo Paramount, Roma. Publicity still of Greta Nissen and William Collier in The Wanderer (Raoul Walsh, 1925). Collection: Didier Hanson.

Oreste Bilancia
Oreste Bilancia. Italian postcard by Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 536. Photo Scoffone.

Gloria Swanson in Zazà'
Italian postcard by Ed. Ballerini & Fratini, no. 764. Photo: SAI Filmo Paramount, Roma. Publicity still of Gloria Swanson in Zazà (Allan Dwan, 1923).

Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in A Woman of Affairs (1928)
French postcard by Europe, no. 388, distributed in Italy by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze. Photo: James Manatt / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still of Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in A Woman of Affairs (Clarence Brown, 1928).

Iwan Mosjukin
Ivan Mozzhukhin. German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5253/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Universal. Publicity still for Der weiße Teufel/The White Devil (Alexandre Volkoff, 1930). On the back of the card: Vendita esclusiva Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze (125).

Doris Duranti
Doris Duranti. Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit, no. 2092. Photo: Venturini, Roma.

Lilia Silvi
Lilia Silvi. Italian postcard by Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 2112. Photo: Bragaglia.

Alida Valli
Alida Valli. Italian postcard by Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze (B.F.F. Edit.), no. 4240. Photo: I.C.I. / Vaselli.

Massimo Serato
Massimo Serato. Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 4242-A. (The numbering 4242-A on this large postcard means that there exists a regular size postcard of him with exactly the same portrait with the number 4242. B.F.F. simply added the letter A for the larger version.) Photo: Bragaglia.

Clara Calamai
Clara Calamai. Italian postcard by Casa Editrice Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze, no. 4273. Photo: Bragaglia.

Fosco Giachetti
Fosco Giachetti. Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 4423. Photo: Scalera Film / Pesce.

Antonella Lualdi
Antonella Lualdi. Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 2800. Photo: Dear Film / C.I.F.

Vittorio Gassman
Vittorio Gassman. Italian postcard by Casa Editr. Ballerini & Fratini, Firenze (BFF), no. 2962. Photo: Columbia / CEIAD.

Sandra Milo
Sandra Milo. Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit., no. 3353. Photo: Cines.

Sources: Garbo Forever and Virgilio (Italian). With thanks to Marlene Pilaete!
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