Thursday, 24 December 2009

Vintage Postcards of Happy Valley

I'm not sure I've ever been to a place called "Happy Valley". It almost sounds as though it belongs inside some sort of theme park. Of course the Monkeys sang about "Pleasant Valley Sunday", but again it always sounded somewhat fictional, even if perhaps an accurate relection of mid-60's suburban pleasantry. However, I have come across vintage postcards of Happy Valley, and what's more, there are several different Happy Valleys.

Happy Valley from Great Orme, Llandudno, Wales, c.1964

Happy Valley, Malvern, c.1957

Happy Valley, Westcliff-on-Sea

Happy Valley, Tunbridge Wells, c.1912

I'm very sure there are tens of other Happy Valleys out there, just waiting for me to find.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Vintage postcards by the artist Charles Flower

Three beautiful, artist drawn, vintage postcards by the artrist Charles E Flower. Postcards were all published by Raphael Tuck.

1. The Baptistery, Canterbury Cathedral, Tuck's oilette, series 7021
2. The Choir, Westminster Abbey, Tuck's oilette, series 7033
3. Entrance to St. James's Palace, Tuck's Aquarette, series 6257

See my web site for loads more Raphael Tuck postcards

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Raphael Tuck vintage postcards - Cornish Coast Series

Today's vintage postcard selection comprises of 3 beautiful, artist drawn postcards by the artist H.B.Wimbush. Dating from around 1909, these postcards are all published by Raphael Tuck in the "Cornish Coast" series, number 9723. Two of them have smooth borders whilst the third one has a textured border ... maybe there was more than one priniting of this series?

Falmouth, Pendennis Point

St. Michael's Mount

The Island, Newquay, c.1909

See my vintage postcards by Raphael Tuck page for more.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Vintage postcards with embossed borders

A couple of vintage postcards today with embossed borders. It's always surprised me how much detail went into making some of these cards. The first is of The Bridge of Sighs, St. John's College, Cambridge. The picture on the card is nice enough, but the embossed green and gold border finishes the card off well. On my version the green border has cracked a little, giving it an almost leather-like look.

The next postcard is of a busy scene around the Pavilion, Ramsgate, Kent, c.1910. Again the picture on the postcard is interesting enough to stand on its own, but the finishing touch of the detailed gold border makes it stand out even more.

More vintage postcards like these on my web site. Feel free to have a look around.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Vintage Christmas postcards

A couple more vintage Christmas postcards today. The one of a child is from 1906 but is somewhat odd, in that apart from the Christmas greeting does not seem Christmas-like at all.

The other one was published by Stewart and Woolf, series number 654, and dates back to 1907

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Vintage postcards of pools

I'm not talking about swimming pools, or outdoor bathing pools (although I do have some postcards covering those areas as well). What I'm referring to here are probably best described as small lakes, some inland and freshwater, some tidal.

The first one is a Harvey Barton postcard of The Blue Pool, near Wareham in Dorset. Lovely colours but clearly heavily tinted or 'colourised'. It's postally unused so no idea of date.

The second one is a Frith postcard of The Silent Pool, Shere, Surrey. This one is postally used and was posted from Guildford to Basingstoke on 16th April 1906. The greeting in the card reads "Arrived safe - went to Silent Pool Friday, went to Jack's yesterday, and hope to go to Godalming today, so you see have been very busy. All well here."

Monday, 14 December 2009

Linen vintage postcards of the USA

I generally only tend to collect postcards of Great Britain, but over the years have managed to accumulate a reasonable number from other countries. Interestingly a bunch of Curteich, linen postcards were amongst my first acquisitions when I caught the postcard bug about 5 years ago, and it wasn't until I was doing a bit of organising recently that I re-discovered them. This one is of Point Lookout, East Windham, New York state, on the Mohican Trail in the Catskills. It was published by C.W.Hughes and Co., number 9A-H194.

This next postcard is of The Old Man of the Mountains by Moonlight, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This one does not have a publisher's name, but is numbered 132L

I'm very sure that these range and style of postcards cover many more subjects and states than I have found. The ones I've come across seem to be mainly topographic postcards of New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Visit my web site to see more vintage postcards of the USA.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Black Cat Carries the Christmas Pudding - vintage Christmas card

Ok, so this is a vintage Christmas card rather than a vintage postcard, but isn't it great? It's published by Wildt and Kray. I just love the expression on the cat's face, it's kind of like "well why on earth wouldn't you expect to see a black cat in red bow-tie carrying a Christmas pudding".

Sea and Sky - Vintage Postcards by Raphael Tuck

My vintage postcards blog entry today is centred around two artist drawn, oilette postcards by Raphael Tuck. The first is in the "Sea and Sky" series II, number 3318, by the artist R.Montague. This is a really beautiful card with a textured finish. Mine is creased unfortunately, but in a strange way it seems to add to the beauty of the card. The postcard is not postally used but I would guess it dates somewhere between 1903 and 1910. What I like best about this card is the vivid colors, particular the reflection of the ship's sail in the water.

The second postcard is of Conway From the River, by the artist Hadfield H Cubley. It's not in the "Sea and Sky" series but would fit well. This postcard is used and dates back to 1905. The greeting on the card reads "Dear C, Am coming by the 3:45 from Sidey. Hope you will be in Tonbridge and then we can go home tigether. Hoping you are all well, with fond love to all, from Annie" . This postcard has a much more sombre feel to it. It's beautifully detailed but the colours are much less vivid that the Montague card. The people in the foreground of the postcard, helping to drag the boat out on to the estuary, almost seem to be out of proportion to the rest of the detail on the card. Maybe they're meant to be children?

If you're interested in seeing more, why not take a look at my web site for more Raphael Tuck vintage postcards.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Wharfs, quays and ships - a vintage postcard of London

I'm pretty sure that in the past I've gone on at length about my love of London. Typically though I find that the majority of vintage postards are of major sites and tourist attractions. Whilst these can sometimes be interesting, they do become a bit ordinary after a while. When I come across a less usual type of card then that's always something to shout about, and that's why I'm blogging today. The postcard here is a Raphael Tuck postcard of Tower Bridge and the Tower, which although not particularly unusual in itself, is interesting because of the foreground which shows quays, wharfs and ships of a bye-gone era. Whilst I love the redevelopment of this part of London, I do think that much of the original character has been lost, and in particular the fact that London was once a thriving port has been lost forever. This postcard captures some of that history.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Vintage postcard of Connaught Waters, Chingford

Until this evening I had always assumed this area of Chingford was long gone, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Connaught Waters still exists, and the pictures I saw on the web don't look a whole lot different to this vintage postcard from the early 1900's. The postcard was published by Wildt and Kray, series 530. It's artist drawn and I'm pretty sure there are 2 small initials in the lower right-hand corner of the card, but I can't decipher them. If anyone knows the artist, please let me know.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Dreaming Spires - vintage postcards of Oxford Colleges

Over the years I seem to have accidentally built up a modest collection of vintage postcards of the various Oxford colleges. These vary from some admittedly quite dull cards of Jesus College, generally published by Frith, to some stunning artist drawn/artist signed postcards. The college which seems to come up most frequently is Magdalen College, with its Founders' Tower, and also Jesus, Queens and Christchurch. One of my favourite Oxford college postcard is the one I've show here. This is an artist drawn postcard of the New College Cloisters, by the artist ESC, and published by Alden. This postcard is not dated but would guess it's around the 1940's. I have no idea regarding the identity of E.S.C. My normally trusty postcard reference book let me down on this one.

I have also found plenty of vintage postcards of the Cambridge colleges such as Clare, Kings, Trinity and St. John's, with the latter probably being the most common. The postcard below shows the entrance to King's College and is published by valentine.

As always you can find these vintage postcards, and plenty of others on my vintage postcard website.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Stow-on-the-Wold, by Sylvester H.Stannard

Just a single vintage postcard again today, mainly because I've been working away most of the week and really should be getting off to bed now. However, I thought I'd just share this one with everyone first. The is an artist drawn/artist signed vintage postcard of The Green, Stow-on-the-Wold, in the Cotswolds, by the artist Sylvester H Stannard, and published by J.Salmon Ltd., number 4354. This is the first time I've come across this particular postcard artist but I'll certainly keep my eyes open for more. This is a really beautiful card of a lovely place. I've not been to Stow-on-the-Wold for ages and whilst I remember it being a quaint place, I'm not sure whether there's still a part of it that looks like this. I'll have to add it to my ever increasingly long list of places to visit.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Harvest of the Sea, vintage postcard, c.1907

Just a single vintage postcard this evening, but definitely one of my favourites. It's called "Harvest of the Sea" and features fishermen returning with their catch. The postcard is artist drawn/artist signed and by an artist that I'd previously not encountered, A.Besnou. The colours on this card are particularly stunning, from the shimmering turquoise of the sea, to the pale reds and greys of the clouds. This postcard was posted from Buxton on December 24th 1907 and contains a hand-written Christmas greeting on the back of the card along with a red, embossed "Compliments of the Season" greeting on the face.

Vintage postcards of Edinburgh

I picked up a whole batch of vintage postcards of Edinburgh last week. Quite a mixed bag, but some great cards in amongst them. Whilst many seem to be of Princes Street, the variety of even these is incredible, with sometimes exactly the same picture with a different finish ... a black and white original vs. a colourised photo, or inset against a tartan border as in this example.

In addition to the more common views of Edinburgh, there are also some lovely ones of Warrender Park, Waterloo Place and the G.P.O. Finishes are a mixture of artist drawn, real photographic and printed. Several also have heraldic crests or coats of arms.

Again, with my backlog of postcards to process ever increasing, it's likely to be a while before I get these on to my own web site, but I have managed to get a selected few onto my Flickr site recently.

The postcards of Edinburgh I have managed to list can be found on my vintage postcards of Scotland page.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Easter vintage postcards by Raphael Tuck

Ok, so I went a bit early by talking about vintage Christmas postcards in November, but I'm about to beat that by writing about Easter vintage postcards. Having just received a batch of these, all published by Raphael Tuck, I felt compelled to blog about them, even though we're not passed Thanksgiving yet.

The majority of the Easter postcards I came across have an embossed silver cross and an embossed floral design, accompanied by a short verse. As you would probably expect, unlike the bright colours of the vintage Christmas postcards, the colours on these Easter postcards are considerably more subtle and toned down, comprising of delicate, light blues, lilac and magnolia.

The ones I have all date to around the early 1900's and were posted to and from the UK, USA and Canada.

I have quite a backlog of postcards to process properly, so it will be a while before these end up on my Flickr site or my own web site, so please enjoy these two samples for now ... and who knows, I may actually post the rest in time for Easter.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas

Ok, well it's still November, and I must admit I do grow tired of hearing Christmas songs being played over the PA system in the local shop, and shelves stacked with Christmas goodies far too early in the year, but I've been fortunate to pick up another batch of vintage Christmas cards and vintage Christmas postcards. Just thought I'd post a few of my favourites here for others to enjoy.

This first one captures the magic of innocence Christmas that seems to so often be missing today, instead replaced by excess and consumerism.

This is probably one of my favourite vintage Christmas cards ... a black cat carrying the Christmas pudding. The card is held together with red chord and I would guess it dates back to the early 20th century.

And finally for this post, another vintage Christmas postcard, this time featuring Father Christmas/Santa Claus. This one is embossed, with golden colouring used in the indentations made by the embossed finish.

More vintage postcards can be found on my web site


Thursday, 19 November 2009

Vintage Postcards of London

Having grown up on the outskirts of London, pretty much at the end of one of the tube lines, I've always had a fascination for the place. As Dr. Johnson said, "To be bored of London is to be bored of life" - a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. Regardless of how many times I visit, I can always find something new and interesting to see. From the leafy suburbs of Hampstead and Highgate, through the boutiques and bistros of Primrose Hill, to the hustle and bustle of the city, it all has a certain appeal.

And of course, the vintage postcards of London are no exception. Naturally there are plenty of the more famous landmarks ... Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, etc., but there are also many of what at the time would have been very separate areas, such as Putney, Richmond and Hampstead.

These range from some spectacular artist drawn postcards by the likes of Frank H.Mason, through to the more ordinary photographs of famous buildings.

For anyone interested, I have 100's of vintage postcards of London for sale.

Feel free to browse through my collection, where you'll also find vintage postcards from all over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and also pages dedicated to vintage postcards published by Raphael Tuck, Frith and Valentine.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Carte de Visite (CDV)

Ok, so these are not quite vintage postcards, but I thought I'd share some interesting vintage Carte de Visite (CDV) that I came across recently.

Initially I thought these were Cabinet Cards, but after subsequent investigation I found these to be different. Although both comprising of photographs mounted on card, it would seem that CDV's are typically 2 1/2 x 4 inches, whereas cabinet cards are 4 x 6 inches.

What's fascinating about these is the sheer number of photographers that seem to have existed around the late 19th century, often on the same road presumably competing for business.

I've added some others a Flickr CDV set.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Vintage Postcards - Stormy Seas

Evidence of an Englishman's fascination about the weather can clearly be seen in this vintage postcard subcategory ... that of rough, or stormy seas. Of course it's more than that really as when the economy and livelihood of coastal communities relied on the fishing industry, not being able to go out and catch fish was a major event, and not unsurprisingly I guess has been captured on postcards.

This one of the Cliifs at Rottingdean, c,1904, is a particularly nice example. It was published by Raphael Tuck in the Rough Sea series, number 1100, and drawn by the artist G.E.Netwon. I've found a few other Raphael Tuck postcards with similar scenes, from places like Llandudno in North Wales right down to Hastings on the South Coast.

Additionally I've uncovered a few stormy sea vintage postcards published by C.W.Faulkner. This one, dating back to c.1904, is simply called "The Haunt of the Gulls" by the artist Elmer Keene.

What's interesting about both these postcards is that the message written in the space on the front of the card is minimal, letting the picture on the card itself to do the talking and convey the real message.

The postcard artist Ewart Baker also seems to have been active in this area, but I'll save his postcards, and those in a similar style, for another day.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Vintage postcards by the artist Brian Gerald

Here's a slideshow of various postcards I've collected by the artist Brian Gerald. I've got a handful more to scan in so hopefully the slides will get updated over the weekend. Ialso have a Flickr group for Brian Gerald postcards, so if you have any that you'd like to share, please feel free to join the group and upload.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Vintage postcards of ships

Vintage postcards of ships is another massive subcategory and unfortunately I do not the time right now to cover it in any detail. However, I thought these two artist drawn postcards were good examples and worth sharing. The first is of the steamship S.S.Viking entering the Harbour, Douglas, Isle of Man, c.1907, by an unknown artist.

The second is the R.M.S.Narkunda of the P&O line, c.1936, by the artist John H Fry, and published by J.Salmon Ltd, number 3216.

What I especially like about these two postcards is the use of colour, particularly the purple-blue sunset in the first card.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Vintage postcards - Christmas

Quite excited today as I have made lots of new discoveries (well, they're new to me anyway) ... I discovered a new subcategory of vintage postcards, that of vintage Christmas postcards, one of which was drawn by a postcard artist previously unknown to me, H.W.Cowderoy. I have also found out that an artist whom I only previously associated with landscapes, Ernest Longstaffe, has also produced Christmas postcards.

Aside from the magic generally associated with Christmas, there's something extra special about these postcards in that they have a purity and innocence that sadly seems to have been swept away by the consumerism now associated with the festive season.

And to round off my pre-festive cheer, I have also discovered that one of my favourite vintage postcard publishers, Raphael Tuck, produced not only Christmas postcards but also Christmas cards as well. Some of these are quite intricate, often with embossed lettering and picture, or perhaps a cut-out, and bound with a piece of ribbon or coloured string.

It will probably be some time before I list these cards and postcards on my site, if at all as they're so beautiful, but I do have quite a few other Raphael Tuck vintage postcards for sale at the moment.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Vintage postcards of actresses ... and ordinary people

Whilst nowhere near as prolific as topographical postcards, vintage postcards of people crop up from time to time in my travels. Edwardian actors and actresses would seem to be the most common, and of course royalty.

It's fairly obvious to see why these cards were printed and bought, but something which intrigues me however is the vast number of vintage postcards of what I'll call "ordinary" people, either as individuals or family units.

At first I thought these were just photographs, but they are actual postcards. I've come across everything from a smartly dressed lady on a bicycle, to a serious looking family, dressed in their Sunday Best on their front lawn.

Unfortunately none of those I have are written, so there's no additional detail which may explain the cards further, but the pictures themselves do offer a fascinating glimpse into our social history.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Vintage postcards - panel greeting cards

Dating back to the early 1900's, another interesting vintage postcard subcategory I've come across is panel greeting cards. These are considerably thicker and heavier than normal postcards of the time, although postage prices remained at 1/2d inland. The only ones I've tracked down so far are artist drawn, albeit uncredited, and published by C.W.Faulkner. The majority are general, watercolour scenes with the occasional one actually credited to a specific place. In general they have some sort of greeting message pre-printed, and slightly indented, on the back of the card, most commonly Christmas wishes or New Year greetings.

Loads of vintage postcards for sale on my web site.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Vintage Postcards - Scotland (Photoblue, borders and backgrounds)

Vintage postcards of Scotland is obviously a broad category but I thought today that I would share some images and thoughts covering a couple of interesting postcard subcategories. The first is 'photoblue' postcards which, although not restricted to Scotland, seem to crop up more frequently than those from elsewhere. The only ones I've come across were published by E.T.W.Dennis and Sons and generally seem to date somewhere in the 1960's. The main features of the postcard, whether they be a port, ships or a beach scene are in black and white, whereas the background, typically the sea and the sky, are shades of blue. I've found both single view and multiview types.

The other subcategory I'll touch on briefly is postcards with decorative borders. Again these are by no means restricted to Scotland, but again those that seem to appear most frequently are. These include postcards with tartan borders, or tartan backgrounds, and also postcards with other highland floral borders such as heather.

See my web pages for more vintage postcards of scotland.
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