ND Phot Les Sports Post Cards
c1904 – c1910
By Mark Holt, 2020
This set of 14 x 9 cm French Post Cards is titled ‘Les Sports’ and is credited to ‘ND Phot’ (Nourdein Freres). It was likely issued from 1904 through 1910. I have seen the cyclists along with a number of motorcyclists, and there may be other sports represented. Jacques Lannoy puts the number issued at 600 which would make this one of the largest cycling sets ever. I’ve checklisted 323 cards, including a number of variations of the same subjects. There are many motor pacing combos in the set.
The fronts of the postcards are full bleed black and white posed photos of the riders on a track with the card number in the lower left, the rider name and the series title in the lower middle, and ‘ND Phot’ as a credit in the lower right. The backs are mostly typical postcard backs with no further series or publisher identification. Rene Pottier (1906 Tour Winner) is in this set, one of the few cards I’ve seen of him. The Rutt card I own has a pre-1905 back and is stamped from September 1904.
This set is the most complete look at the European track racing era just after the turn of the century. It features just about every professional who competed in France during the era, including Americans like Walthour and MacFarland.
The set has multiple variations, including cards with text within the image and then the same card with its text on a white background. I’ve checklisted the versions of these that I’ve seen, but there are likely more. There are also issues with the photo credit in different spots on the card. The variations indicate changes within the cards over the years.
Edmond Jacquelin was the king of French sprinters from 1896 through 1902 and was the World Sprint Champion in 1900. He had a series of highly publicized races with Major Taylor in 1901. By the time this series came out, he was running on fumes but was still a big name and could draw lucrative matches with the likes of the new American star, Bobby Walthour.
Source: Velo Images: The History of Bike Racing in Collectible Cards by Mark Holt, 2020
All of the postal cards on our site are original, with no reproductions.
As many of the cards are quite old and one-of-a-kind, please look carefully at the photos to determine their condition.
Size 9 x 14 cm