2 September 2020

Zeiss Ikon Postcard and a little Dutch Photo History

Category: History   Tags: ICA / Zeiss
Zeiss Ikon Postcard and a little Dutch Photo History - Black & White Photography and Stereoscopy Blog

Recently I found a Zeiss Ikon postcard on eBay. It was a bit too expensive but when I read the text on the back, I really wanted it. The text reveals a little bit of Dutch photo history.

This colourful and stylish Zeiss Ikon postcard was part of a series that was originally introduced by ICA. They were designed by the Austrian illustrator Theo Matejko in 1925. After ICA merged with three other companies to Zeiss Ikon, the postcards remained in use and got the Zeiss Ikon trademark.

This postcard was issued by Fotohandel Lux (Photo Lux) from Amsterdam. They used it to promote the opening of a new branch at the Roelof Hartstraat on 28 April. No year is mentioned, but it's certainly late 1920s or 1930s.

Zeiss Ikon postcard from Fotohandel Lux
Zeiss Ikon Postcard from Fotohandel Lux

The translated handwritten text on the postcard reads:

Why don't you take pictures? It's simple. Even a child can photograph with a Zeiss Ikon camera. It costs only 10,25 guilders with a full guarantee. Developing a roll film for this device (6 x 9) costs 30 cents.


The NV Foto- en Kinohandel Lux was a leading photography store with several branches in Amsterdam. In 1941 they bought the photography stores of CAPI from Nijmegen. The name CAPI is composed from the initials of its founder Cornelis (Kees) Adrianus Peter Ivens. This company opened one of the first photography stores in The Netherlands. The company continued with the name CAPI-Lux from 1961. Due to a changing market and fierce competition, all stores had to close their doors in 1996.

The Rijksmuseum has a photo album in their collection with 25 gelatin silver prints of Dutch store interiors. The photographer is unknown and the photos date from c. 1920. One of the interiors is from the Fotohandel Lux store at Nassaukade 361 in Amsterdam.

Fotohandel Lux at the Nassaukade 361 in Amsterdam
Interior of Fotohandel Lux at Nassaukade 361 in Amsterdam
Source: Rijksmuseum, License: Public Domain

References:

  • Zeiss and Photography, Lawrence J. Gubas, 2015