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.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Vintage Postcards - Forever Autumn

Well there's no doubt that Autumn (or Fall to my American readers) is most definitely upon us. With all the vibrant colours of the turning leaves and the woodland fungi, it's very much my favourite time of year. And to bring this back to the subject of vintage postcards, there's no shortage of postcards which help celebrate this time of year. Some do this with just colour, whilst others add texture into the mix, like this oilograph vintage postcard of Beeches in Autumn - I almost feel I could step right into that picture.

<- oilograph vintage postcard of Beeches in Autumn

This vintage postcard, along with loads of others, can be found on the vintage postcards page of my web site. Feel free to have a look to see what I've got on offer, and make my day by buying one or more.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Heraldic vintage postcards

I've recently come across several vintage postcards that display a coat of arms or a crest, specific to a location or university. Some of these are printed on the card, whereas others are embossed.

<- vintage postcard showing embossed 'Arms of Portsmouth', c.1905.

A curious addition to the postcard, probably dating back to when people felt a stronger need to belong to or be part of a certain place, and definitely back to a time when people showed more respect and allegiance to the royal family than perhaps today.

embossed coat of arms on a vintage postcard of the National Gallery, London, c.1906 ->

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Vintage postcards and social history

Social history is another great reason for collecting vintage postcards. Even the simplest street scenes from 50 years ago can be fascinating, but the real beauty for me is the more detailed ones showing something that was so typical and usual in the early 20th century, but long forgotten now.

vintage postcard of Dinner Hour at the Huntley and Palmers Biscuit Factory, Reading, Berkshire

And the social history is not just restricted to the postcard itself; many postmarks contained slogans relating to the war effort, recommendations to post early in the day, etc. Also those with a political message, whether supporting the war effort or more directly linked to a political party, offer a fascinating glimpse back into the past.

Aesop's Fables Up to Date, the Fox and the Grapes, a vintage postcard by the artist F.Sancha ->

If you like these postcards then be sure to check out my vintage postcards for sale.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Vintage Postcards - postmarks and cancellations

Having had an interested in stamps as a child, and an interest in vintage postcards today, I was unaware that there was such an interest regarding postmarks or cancellations. Again this is a field I am very new to but it's got me more than a little interested. I've found a handful of vintage postcards with squared circle postmarks, which seem to have quite a market.

<- 1905 Birmingham squared circle postmark on a vintage postcard

I've also come across a few duplex postmarks on vintage postcards, the odd cachet, single ring cancellations, postage due cancellations and examination marks. From what I've read up on, there even seem to be subcategories and specialist areas within these categories. I still collect vintage postcard for what's on the front of the card, but the reverse side is now beginning to hold an increased interest for me.

vintage postcard showing a duplex cancellation ->

Feel free to visit my vintage postcard web pages and have a browse around ... and maybe even buy something!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Artist Drawn Vintage Postcards

We Are Four, Blue Persian Kittens, Mabel Gear vintage postcardOne aspect of collecting vintage postcards that has me hooked at the moment is artist drawn, or artist signed, postcards. I've managed to unearth some great postcards by the likes of Brian Gerald, Ernest Longstaffe, Henry Wimbush and W.W.Quatremain, covering mainly landscapes, and Edgar Hunt, Molly Brett, Mabel Gear and Mabel Lucie Attwell covering subjects of a more illustrative nature, e.g. children, nursery rhymes, cats, or normally kittens, and other aminals.

<- We Are Four, vintage postcard by Mabel Gear

Clearly with so many postcard artists I am only beginning to scratch the surface but it's making for an interesting past-time. It's probably Brian Gerald that is currently generating the most interest for me and I've set up a Brian Gerald group on Flickr! ... if anyone has any Brian Gerald postcards they would like to share with a wider audience, please feel free to join and upload.

Kewstoke Woods, Weston-Super-Mare by artist Brian Gerald, published by Valentine, number A869 ->

Feel free to visit my vintage postcard web pages and have a browse around ... and maybe even buy something!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Introducing my vintage postcard collection

Having had a home grown, multi-subject blog of sorts on my own web site for a while now, I've decided to try my hand at creating one using blogger which is more centred around vintage postcards.

Vintage postcard of Tower Bridge, London by the artist Frank H Mason.

By way of an introduction, I suppose I became interested in vintage postcards about 3 years ago, by accident, when I picked up a handful in a local antique market. It soon became apparent to me that there was a huge interest for these, covering all sorts of specialist areas, publishers, postcard styles, postcard artists, and even right down to the different postmarks used. I'm still very much learning about postcards but can't resist picking them up every time I get a chance. Many I keep for myself for my personal collection, but others I put up for sale on my vintage postcard web pages or display on Flickr!.

What I plan to do with this blog is to provide regular updates on my latest finds, with links to specific cards which I think may be of interest to others. As I learn more I'll share more. Please feel free to add comments, feedback, encouragement, etc.
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