05 June 2021

Rotalfoto

Rotalfoto (or RotalFoto) was an Italian postcard publisher, located in Milano (Milan). From the 1950s till the 1970s, the firm created countless postcards with the logo of a globe. The subjects were often topographic, but Rotalfoto also created a wonderful series of film star postcards. Originally these postcards were in black and white, but later also in colour (Rotalcolor), such as the Artisti di Sempre (Artists forever) series. The format of the cards is normally 14.5 x 10 cm (5.7 x 3.9 inch) but the Artisti di Sempre series is even larger, 17 x 12 cm (6.7 x 4.7 inch). Ivo and I each selected our favourite Rotalfoto cards for this post.

Elsa Martinelli in La Risaia (1956)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano / G.B. & F., V, no. 2072. Photo: Carlo Ponti. Elsa Martinelli in La risaia/Rice Girl (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1956). Caption: Saluti dalla Risaia (Greetings from the rice girl).

Amedeo Nazzari
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano (Milan), no. 113. Photo: Ponti-De Laurentiis. Amedeo Nazzari in Il brigante Musolino/Outlaw Girl (Mario Camerini, 1950), a Ponti-De Laurentiis production, costarring De Laurentiis' wife Silvana Mangano.

Alida Valli in Les amants de Tolède (1953)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 243. Photo: Lux Film. Alida Valli in Les amants de Tolède/The Lovers of Toledo (Henri Decoin, Fernando Palacios, 1953).

Lucia Bosé
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 295. Lucia Bosé.

Sophia Loren in La donna del fiume (1954)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 328. Photo: Ponti-De Laurentiis. Sophia Loren in La donna del fiume/Woman of the River (Mario Soldati, 1954).

Ava Gardner
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 500. Ava Gardner.

Anna Maria Ferrero and Maurizio Arena in Totò e Carolina (1955)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano. Photo: Ponti - De Laurentiis. Anna Maria Ferrero and Maurizio Arena in Totò e Carolina/Totò and Carolina (Mario Monicelli, 1955).

James Dean at the set of Giant (1956)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 519. Photo: Richard Miller / Warner Bros. James Dean at the set of Giant (George Stevens, 1956).

Diana Dors
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 536. Photo: Rank. Diana Dors.

Mamie van Doren
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 612. Mamie Van Doren.

Marisa Allasio
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 663. Marisa Allasio.

Ugo Tognazzi
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 705. Ugo Tognazzi.

Dirk Bogarde
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 863. Dirk Bogarde.

Eleonora Rossi Drago
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 880. Eleonora Rossi Drago.

Giulietta Masina
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 907. Giulietta Masina .

Montgomery Clift
Italian postcard by Rotalcolor, no. N. 30. Montgomery Clift.

Robert Mitchum
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. N. 68. Robert Mitchum.

Carol Lynley (1942-2019)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. N 159. Carol Lynley.

Peter O´Toole in Lord Jim (1965)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 278. Peter O'Toole in Lord Jim (Richard Brooks, 1965).

Peter Sellers
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 284. Peter Sellers.

Thomas Milian
Italian postcard by Ed. Ris. Rotalfoto S.p.A., Milano (Milan), in the series Artisti di Sempre, no. 118. Thomas Milian.

Robert Wagner
Italian postcard by Ed. Ris. Rotalfoto S.p.A., Milano (Milan), in the series Artisti di Sempre, no. 287. Robert Wagner.

Joan Collins
Italian postcard by Ed. Ris. Rotalfoto S.p.A., Milano (Milan), in the series Artisti di Sempre, no. 295. Joan Collins.

Sources: British Museum and TuttoCollezzioni (Italian).

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