History of Carthusia- Profumi di Capri

November 10, 2016 § Leave a comment



This magical poster has been a favorite our staff and clients for many years. Vintage European Posters collector Elizabeth Norris was lucky enough to find a roll of these orignal advertising posters in the South of France, and has had them lovingly cleaned and mounted to archival standard on to acid free paper and linen backing. There is a romance to the Isal of Capri, and as a result, people fall in love with the place. The poster is explanatory of the perfume and includes illustrations of flowers and fruiting moss suggesting that the scent has floral and woodsy notes.

While browsing in a boutique in Toluca Lake I saw a sign with the Carthusia symbol. I was surprised and asked the owner of the store. It turns out that the perfume is still in production today. She was generous enough to give me a few samples which do evoke the mysteries of the island. I wanted to know more, my search led me to a great tale about how this perfume came to be.


The myth recounts that in 1380, the Prior of the Carthusian Monastery was caught unawares by the arrival of Queen Joanna of Naples. He picked her a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers from the island. These remained in unchanged water for three days,  when he went to throw them away, the prior noticed that it had acquired a mysterious fragrance unknown to him. He inquired of the friar versed in alchemy, who traced the origin of the scent to the “Garofilium Silvestre Caprese”. That water became the first perfume of Capri.

History relates that in 1948 the Prior of the Monastery found the old perfume formulas and upon obtaining permission from the Pope, revealed them to a chemist from Piemonte, who created the smallest perfume laboratory in the world, calling it Carthusia after the island’s Monastic order.

The symbol of the Carthusia portrays a flower siren that brings to mind the surreal and mythological landscapes of Capri’s heritage. She appears to be in the midst of an evolution, blooming with myriad colorful flowers, from which Carthusia perfumes flow.

The poster was designed in 1948 by the painter and illustrator Mario Laboccetta. Laboccetta was born in Naples in 1899, but his career blossomed in Paris in the 1920’s and 1930’s. He gained some fame with his detailed, colorful and sometimes erotic  magazine and book illustrations. He published work for Charles Baudelaire’s book of poetry Les Fleurs du Mal, and the book Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Tales of Hoffmann).  Laboccetta returned to his native Italy after World War II where he continued work, eventually settling in Capri, where he died in 1988.


To see more of Labocetta’s illustrations or visit the perfume’s website, check out the links below:



This post was written by Logan Prather, LA Liaison for VEPCA
Edited by Elizabeth Norris, VEPCA Collector

Vintage European Posters was Established 1997
Member IVPDA
Our Shop: 2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way
Winter Hours Tuesday- Thursday 11-5
Closed on Thanksgiving
Open Every Weekend until Christmas

Also available by appointment

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

Sneak Peek! New Acquisitions in Shop this Weekend.

August 18, 2016 § 1 Comment

Gallery Storage 2
Hello friends and poster collectors, 
Hope you have had a great summer thus far! The best is still to come in California as we roll towards the warmer weather of September and October in our fair land.
I’m back from a month of travel and, once again, I over did it and bought literally dozens of great posters from all over Europe. I guarantee that you will be happy to see what I found.



Come and enjoy an Italian greyhound with us in the shop August 20-21 (Campari and Grapefruit) as we check in the new Campari Posters, great French travel, and sweet Swiss treats that are coming from near and far.
Campari Soda
More posters will be arriving from linen backing over the next 3 weeks- Please save the date for September 10th to see the full new collection in store but the lion’s share is being photographed and catalogued as I write this and will be available this weekend, but not on the website.



Nuova Zolforatrice Framed
Would you rather see the collection al fresco? Head up to Healdsburg Sunday August 28th (the following weekend) for the Healdsburg Antiques on the Plaza Antiques Faire. You can also see a portion of our collection of framed posters on sale at our Favorite Healdsburg restaurant and gallery Barn Diva.

Oakland 80th Anniversary

Special Sneak Peek  
VEPCA Outpost 2201 Fourth Street, corner of Allston Way,
Ample free parking on weekends
Saturday 11-7- cocktails at 5 pm
Sunday 11-5

Jeunesse au Plein Air (girl on stamp)

Healdsburg Antiques on the Plaza 
Hwy 101, Exit Central Healdsburg, corner of Center and Matheson Streets
Sunday, August 28th 9am – 5pm
With Every Good Wish-
Elizabeth, Sarah, and Susannah

Original Nuova Zolforatrice poster

July 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

Printed in Italy, circa 1900

Original Stone Lithograph

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 3.34.01 PM


Italian Art Nouveau poster advertising a sulfur and sulfur applicator. There are many early posters advertising fertilizers, sulfurs and other products for vineyard care. Rather than being aimed at large scale agriculture producers, they were intended for the home viticulturist. This piece features a particularly beautiful hand made typestyle and unusual colors. The Italian Art Nouveau style is often called ‘heroic’ and shows the influenceof classical Italian figurative style. This framed poster is currently on display in Healdsburg’s Barn Diva gallery

This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, owner of Vintage European Posters 

Vintage European Posters is a Berkeley based dealer of
Original French & American Advertising Posters.
Our Showroom is located at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley, corner of Allston Way.
Summer of 2016 we are open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 11-5
and select weekends. Please call ahead to confirm our hours.

Established in 1997, VEP now exhibits at 12 shows per year in California including
Dwell on DesignPalm Springs Modernism, and the Healdsburg Antiques on the Plaza. 

Our website www.vepca.com  is always up to date. 

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