22 September 2013


From 1925 on, the Dutch firm JosPe printed and published hundreds of film star postcards. Founder of the company was the German businessman Joseph Peter Welker.

Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo. Dutch postcard by JosPe, Arnhem, no. 34. Photo: MGM / Clarence Sinclair Bull. Publicity still for the German version of Anna Christie (Jacques Feyder, 1930).

Greta Garbo in Mata Hari (1931)
Greta Garbo. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 299. Photo: Clarence Sinclair Bull / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Mata Hari (George Fitzmaurice, 1931).

Greta Garbo in Grand Hotel (1932)
Greta Garbo. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 381. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Publicity still for Grand Hotel (Edmund Goulding, 1932).

Truus van Aalten
Truus van Aalten. Dutch Postcard by Jospe, no. 462. Photo: Godfried de Groot, Amsterdam.

Fien de la Mar
Fien de la Mar. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 581. Sent by mail in 1935. Photo: Godfried de Groot.

Louis Davids
Louis Davids. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 582. Photo: Godfried de Groot.

Real Industry

Postcards used to be a real industry in the Netherlands in the first decades of the 20th Century. There were many firms who produced postcards. JosPe from the city of Arnhem was one of the biggest photo postcard printers and publishers of the country.

The firm was named after Joseph Peter Welker, a businessman from Hamburg in Germany, who founded the company in 1925. First it was located in the Koningstraat in Arnhem, later in the Kerkstraat in the same city.

In Germany, Welker had been the main owner of Jos-Pe Farben-Photo GmbH, a camera-maker firm in Hamburg and later Munich. The company is known only for the Tri-Color Camera, made between about 1924 and 1934, a metal-bodied plate camera for 'one-shot' colour separation photography.

Between 1925 and 1987, the Dutch JosPe firm produced thousands of postcards of cities and villages in the Netherlands, mostly pictures of streets and buildings. JosPe could also be commissioned by local hotels, cafes, churches and industries to make postcards of the respective buildings.

In 1930 A. Bruinier started working as a director at the company. Until the bankruptcy of the company in 1978, the Bruinier family remained in the management. In 1978 the activities were continued by new companies. In 1984 another bankruptcy followed and the BV was dissolved in 1987 for lack of income.

Buster Keaton, Anita Page and Cliff Edwards in Sidewalks of New York (1931)
Buster Keaton, Anita Page and Cliff Edwards. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 310. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Publicity still for Sidewalks of New York (Zion Myers, Jules White, 1931).

Dickie Moore RIP (1925-2015)
Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 327, ca. 1932. Photo: Paramount. Publicity still of Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall and Dickie Moore in Blonde Venus (Josef von Sternberg, 1932).

Happy birthday, Márta Eggerth!
Marta Eggerth. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 330. Photo: City Film.

Marta Eggerth, Richard Tauber
Marta Eggerth with operetta colleague Richard Tauber. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 468.

Marta Eggerth
Marta Eggerth. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 547.

Marta Eggerth
Christmas with Marta Eggerth. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 593.

Serrated Pictures

Through the years JosPe also published hundreds of film cards, all with the logo JP. The format of the JosPe postcards is 142 x 92 mm. Their pictures are sometimes serrated, and always printed glossy.

There are many JosPe cards of film stars like Greta GarboMarlene DietrichMaurice Chevalier and Marta Eggerth (in Dutch Martha Eggerth), who very popular stars in the Netherlands during the 1930s. With operetta diva Eggerth, JosPe even made a special Christmas card.

Other popular subjects were Dutch actors like Fien de la MarLouis Davids and Truus van Aalten, who was one of the backfish stars of the German film industry. Their portraits were often taken by glamour photographer Godfried de Groot in Amsterdam.

JosPe shut down in 1987 (or 1989 - the sources differ). In 2005 the Regionaal Archief Tilburg in the south of the Netherlands bought a part of the negatives of the firm; other archives did the same.

Anny Ondra
Anny Ondra. Dutch postcard by JosPe, Amsterdam, no. 285. Photo: Remaco. Publicity still for Eine Nacht im Paradies/One Night in Paradise (Carl Lamac, 1932).

Ralph A. Roberts and Anny Ondra in Eine Nacht im Paradies (1932)
Ralph A. Roberts and Anny Ondra. Dutch postcard by JosPe, no. 287. Photo: Remaco. Publicity still for Eine Nacht im Paradies/One Night in Paradise (Carl Lamac, 1932).

Maurice Chevalier visits the Netherlands
Dutch postcard by JosPe, Arnhem, no. 290. In 1932 Maurice Chevalier visited the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, The Hague and Volendam.

Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier. Dutch postcard by JosPe, Arnhem, no. 392.

Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier in the fishertown of Volendam, The Netherlands, 1932. Dutch postcard by JosPe, Arnhem, no. 298.

Maurice Chevalier in The Hague (1932)
Maurice Chevalier in The Netherlands. Dutch postcard by Jospé, Arnhem. 'Den Haag 21 September 1932 is written on the back of the card. That night Chevalier performed at the Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen (Arts & Sciences building) in Den Haag/The Hague. The day before Chevalier had visited Volendam and Amsterdam and had performed at the Amsterdam movie palace Tuschinski Theater, which still exists today.

Sources: Het Volkspark Enschede (Dutch), Camera Wiki, OudOmmen.nl (Dutch) and Archieven.nl (Dutch).

1 comment:

Zenda said...

That's interesting! Thank you