Episode #16: Clairefontaine Prioritaire Airmail Envelopes

This one is a teaser, because the Clairefontaine Prioritaire airmail envelopes are no longer being imported in the US! These are the larger size envelopes, made to fit A4 size paper. They’re pretty straightforward, really. I mean after all they’re just envelopes! They’re smooth, 90g Clairefontaine paper, very similar to Clairefontaine Triomphe envelopes. In the video I compare the Prioritaire, Triomphe, and G. Lalo Vergé de France envelopes.

The Vergé de France are quite different from the other two. The Vergé de France is a highly textured, hand-laid-style paper (1oog), with a lining on the inside of the envelopes. The Prioritaire and Triomphe don’t have that G. Lalo lining, but they are still extremely fine envelopes.

Doing a writing test with the 3 different envelopes (using J. Herbin Cacao du Bresil), all of them perform very well. No feathering, no spreading, and bleedthrough, though quite irrelevant for envelopes, was non-existent. All-in-all, the Prioritaire envelopes are very novel and reminiscent of a time by-gone, but in their absence, the Triomphe and Vergé de France make mighty fine substitutes.

***Update as of 3/23/10*** I was able to get my hands on the last remaining Prioritaire airmail envelopes in the US, available on my website. They are the smaller size ones, not the full size ones like you see in the video.

Link to YouTube for iPhones and full-screen.

2017-10-03T16:15:24+00:00 March 6th, 2010|Uncategorized|2 Comments
  • I'm happy that you have the air mail envelopes. I send a lot of letters overseas, and since all US mail overseas goes automatically via air now, it's gotten almost impossible to find even domestically made air mail envelopes. Last time I was in France I forgot to buy envelopes, I was too busy loading up on French-rules Clairefontaine paper 😉

  • CaptainGroovy

    I miss the air mail envelopes and paper while I did use them for oversea mail they remind me of my grandmother who loved to write and receive letters she would buy us (grandchildren) Airmail writing "kits" (Air Mail envelope and a pad of Onion Skin paper) for use write her letters on. Childhood memories