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original vintage French entertainment poster Bataille de Fleurs c. 1905
De Losques
14 3/4" x 20 1/2"

Long before anyone imagined driverless cars, there was a strong appetite for dizzy cars. This latter phenomenon, most famously seen in Nice, stemmed from the last chance for feasting before the ascetic days of Lent. The carnival about that pleasure, as evoked here along the city's Promenade des Anglais, became a display of the profusion and beauties of the region's plants, basking in a remarkably mild climate (the event, after all, taking place in February). Historically the Nice Carnival is one of the world's major carnival events (beginning 1294) and since 1873 was reinvented as a parade.
As with the upstart Rose Bowl Parade, in Pasadena (another Mediterranean redoubt), there were floral floats of remarkable invention. But the idea of staging flower battles was a specialty of feisty Provence. Our vintage poster today depicts the event as a breath of fresh air (the stodgy coachman not being amused), a dash of modernity, with famous entertainers of the era right on tap for the opportunity.
Adding to the quirkiness of this vehicle, the caption speaks of another hanger-on, namely, Monte Carlo, reckless and bemusing!

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