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.
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