We are always buying postcards and photos from before 1950 - email us at circa1910@tampabay.rr.com.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winsch CHRISTMAS Holly Mistletoe CHILDREN Postcards

This post, the last for 2012, shows a series of exceptional Christmas postcards published by John Winsch, with sweet-faced children in outfits made of holiday greenery, including evergreens, holly and mistletoe, with touches of snow and ice.  Rich embossing and bright colors make this series especially nice, but it is the delicacy and beauty of the designs that really stand out.  The artwork is sometimes attributed to Samuel Schmucker, and the quality may substantiate this.  However, we do not vouch for it, as the designs are lacking some of Schmucker's hallmark elements.  We open with a close-up of the most sought-after postcard in the series, the evergreen child with pine cones holding a golliwog.  Below we show the whole postcard.

Rather hard-to-find are the following postcards in this series, with a mistletoe girl and a holly boy sharing a kiss, and a child in snowy holly holding a heart.

Each design has its singular charm.  Teddy Bear collectors will find the following image especially appealing:

Here is the full image of the Teddy Bear postcard:

The remaining two cards in this series show a holly child pulling a wagon full of toys, and an evergreen child getting ready to throw a snowball.  

We are especially fond of this series - since we collect holiday postcards for their artistry, these are some of our very favorites. Thank you for your wonderful comments and contributions - we look forward to another year of sharing deltiology in 2013!

Price Estimates:  This series is very desirable to holiday collectors.  The prices we have seen for the cards shown here has been between $50.00 and $120.00.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winter Holiday SNOWMEN Postcards

We open this post with a colorful embossed image of mischievous boys tossing snowballs at a snowman, hitting his tophat.  With a cheery expression, he seems unfazed by this attack.  Printed in Germany.

Two young girls visit a plump little snowman and the tot in a red outfit kisses his frosty cheek.  Nice embossing, an unusual image, postmarked 1912.  Printed in Germany.

Above a glamorous young woman hugs a snowman on a fine Winsch-published design from Samuel Schmucker.  Rich embossing, a golden background.  The circle design so often found in Schmucker images is seen here in the mistletoe garland.  Superb artwork, a wonderful New Year design with Winsch's fancy lettering.

Above are two fine snowman cards, both with artwork by Marie Flatscher.  On the first, published by PFB, children play with a strong snowman.  On the second, published by Langsdorf, a little girl feeds the birds while her big sister watches.  A light snow is falling on these pretty embossed postcards.  

A little Angel in a red outfit places a shamrock-decorated tophat on a tall snowman who is chilling a bottle of champagne in a snowy pocket.  Great unusual image combines three iconic images - Angel, snowman and the celebratory bottle of bubbly.  Nice detailed embossing.  Published by International Art.

On the last postcard, a little girl wearing a muff hides behind a snowman holding a Happy New Year sign.  Her brother has several snowballs and hopes to catch her.  Detailed embossing, gold highlights.  Printed in Germany.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  The cards shown in this post will cost from about $10 to about $20 for the Marie Flatscher designs, and up to $100 for the Schmucker image.  As you can see, there are snowman postcards available at a range of prices.  Fun to collect, there are many snowman, snowlady and even snowcat images available.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and they are only estimates.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Patriotic THANKSGIVING Postcards

While Thanksgiving postcard designs can be outdone by many Santa Claus Christmas and dressed Rabbit  Easter postcards, there are some exceptional Thanksgiving postcards worth adding to a holiday collection.  We begin this post with a Puritan Relief Ship image by John Winsch publishers, one of a series of Thanksgiving postcards tracing U.S. history through colorful images.  Below that postcard are two more from the same series.  Rich embossing, fancy Winsch lettering, and gold touches make these postcards extra nice.  Most history records mark the Thanksgiving Autumn dinner shared by Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians in 1621 as our earliest Thanksgiving celebration.

Patriotic Thanksgiving postcards can earn that name by adding red, white and blue decorations to the designs.  After all, Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday!


The handsome turkey above wears a star spangled top hat and stands out against a bright red background.  We love fantasy images from the turn of the century with "modern" inventions and modes of transportation. Here is one of our favorite Thanksgiving turkey images with the birds floating along in a dirigible basket, American flags flying and red, white and blue straps around their vehicle.  

These sturdy boys carry a big Thanksgiving feast basket and hold flags...love their jaunty caps! Rich embossing adds to the charm of all the postcards in this post. 

Below, pilgrims appear in a winter scene framed by a gold Good Luck turkey wishbone, all laid out on a red, white & blue background decorated with golden stars.   

We close this post with some Thanksgiving postcards featuring Uncle Sam, symbol of the country and very popular with postcard collectors.  It just seems natural to find him on images of our national holiday.  Although there were Thanksgiving festivities in various towns and states around the country, it wasn't until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated each November.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Patriotic Thanksgiving postcards are generally more expensive than simpler images of turkeys, harvest fruits and vegetables.    Of course, any image that includes people will be harder to find, and therefore more valuable, than images that don't.  The fine Winsch series at the top of the post can be found between $12 - $25 each.  Uncle Sam cards range from about $10 - $20,  depending on rarity.  Turkey fantasies, such as the blimp image here, vary widely in price.  Sometimes turkeys in automobiles, airplanes or other vehicles can be found very reasonably...if you find a bargain, snap it up!   These prices are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

ART Imitates LIFE Postcards of RPPC Models

Collecting antique postcards invites us into a world of puzzles.  The pirated designs from popular artists like Ellen Clapsaddle, Frances Brundage, Marie Flatscher and Samuel Schmucker is just one oddity.  Stolen designs most often show up on no-name publisher postcards, in slightly blurry-edged copies, smaller motifs, and in flat or pared-down versions of the originals.  We previously offered a post on linen postcards that were generic images of streams, woods or waterfalls later imprinted with the name of the buyer's location. Also, although we have not written a post about it, many early printed postcards had details like the moon, birds, automobiles drawn into the original photo image.  In this post, we address the scarcer habit of cashing in on the success of certain real photo postcard models by incorporating their images into artwork for other postcards.  Here are two we have noticed.

  We begin with three real photo postcards of a very popular young girl - then and now - with an especially lovely face and a gentlle expression.  One opens our post and there are two below.  You may recognize her - postcards of her have gone up sharply in price until they sometimes sell for $50 or more.  There are some passionate collectors of this girl!  

And here she is rendered by an artist on a pretty embossed Christmas postcard without a publisher designation:

You may also recognize this next  pretty young woman who usually appears with her lips parted - her image graces so many real photo postcards that she really should have a category all her own:

And here is a drawing of her on a bright embossed Valentine's postcard from International Art Publishers.  We have seen this series attributed to Ellen Clapsaddle, but the designs are unsigned.

Finally, here is a real photo postcard of the two very popular models together:

We have not yet seen an artistic interpretation of them together.  Perhaps one will appear in future.  If so, we'll let you know.

   Do you have a favorite postcard-related puzzle?  We'd love to hear about it if you do! 

PRICE ESTIMATESPrices for these real photo postcards are highest, at the moment, for unusual poses of the little girl with light hair.  Her postcards range from about $10 to $50 or more.  Real photo postcards of the young woman range from about $8 - $15.  The two artistic renderings of their image were purchased for $8 and $10. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ellen Clapsaddle HALLOWEEN Postcards

This post celebrates the colorful Halloween postcard designs of Ellen H. Clapsaddle, a prolific  and well-loved artist who is reported to have created over 2,000 images for postcards at the beginning of the 1900s.  

The following postcards are published by International Art Publishing Co. and have rich embossing.   The black cat above is not labeled with the name of a publisher.  It is also embossed.and signed at the lower left edge.  Inside the pale yellow moon is printed Painting Only Copyrighted by S. Garre 1909.

Clapsaddle designs feature children with gentle expressions.  Above is a whimsical little boy and below is a young witch with her black cat perched on a huge jack o' lantern.  
Here we have a pair of sweet blonde children peeking over the top of an enormous jack o' lantern.  Perhaps the white outfit on the little girl is an old-fashioned ghost costume. 

Clapsaddle combined traditional symbols of Halloween with lighthearted images of cheery children and jolly jack o' lanterns to create these postcard designs, leaving the scary illustrations to other artists.  We especially like the pumpkin figure below, constructed like a snowman, with a basket hat and twig arms.  Don't miss his wooden shoes.  The International Art Publishing Co. designs are signed by the artist.

Below is a young witch in a red and white outfit with a tall witch's hat.  She has a hollow pumpkin filled with little envelopes of happy wishes.  Her smile continues Clapsaddle's cheerful theme.  Another similar design with a smiling young boy  features a harvest design along with the pipe-smoking carved pumpkin. 
Below is one of the most famous Clapsaddle International Art Publishing Co. Halloween designs, a mechanical postcard with light embossing and a movable arm holding a big jack o' lantern.  

Below are two dramatic flat postcard designs published by Wolf & Co.  The black backgrounds make the colors on these charming designs seem especially bright.  The artist's signature appears on the hem of the little girl's dress, although not visible on the little boy's outfit.  At the bottom of his right shoe is printed Wolf & Co. Phila.

Price Estimates:  Ellen H. Clapsaddle Halloween postcards are popular and many collectors seek them out.  The more readily available designs may be found for about $25 - $35 each, while the scarcer designs, including those on black backgrounds above, may reach $100.  The mechanical postcard sometimes appears without its arm or with other damage, probably because it was fun for children to play with.  In fine condition, it can cost up to $250 or more.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Japanese Art Deco Postcards

In the late 19th century, a flood of cheap Japanese prints and decorative objects hit America and Europe: Western artists and designers liked what they saw, and appropriated Japanese styles and techniques. Their borrowed, bold designs helped inspire the streamlined geometry and flat color fields of Art Deco — or Deco, for short. This style popped up in Paris at the dawn of the Jazz Age, quickly spread, and hit the Japanese market as the 1920s roared on. Japanese artists liked what they saw and re-appropriated the Deco style.  

Above is a quote from a description of a show Japan Deco, currently showing at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida.  Japanese postcards are a collecting specialty which opens the door to exquisite artwork, whimsical designs and dramatic imagery.  In this post, we share some Japan art deco postcards and some more traditional images on Japanese postcards, too.

Here is a combination of artwork and a printed photo image, a frequently used design on Japanese postcards.  We have seen images of ships, military officers, war-time conflicts and scenes from expositions set against colorful backgrounds.  The backgrounds may be stylized floral  designs, wildlife (especially beautiful birds) or, as in this example, scenery.  We especially like the impressionistic quality of the watery view, shining silver details and the golden moon.

Here a young girl feeds the chickens.  The seller listed this image as a New Year design.
Pastel colors throughout the design are punctuated by the bright red details.

Below is one of our favorite New Year designs with bright gold added, a flowery background, and nice embossing.  A paper stamp and a rubber-stamped seal are at upper left.

These two whimsical puppy designs bring smiles.  Sweet, funny animals seem to hold a position of honor in the Japanese art world and they are enjoyed everywhere.  Think of Hello Kitty's popularity!

This elegant rooster graces a dramatic design with brilliant colors and a visually effective use of   lettering as part of the image.  Since we do not speak Japanese, we are left admiring these postcards without knowing what they say.  

Here is a wonderful pair of art deco designs on images of street vendors - brilliant colors, simplified images with silhouettes in the background providing depth to otherwise flattened pictures of men carrying their merchandise.

Price Estimates:  These postcards have climbed in value significantly over the past few years.  If you like them, we suggest you buy them now.  The postcards shown in this post cost between $10 for the girl with chickens to $20+ for the street vendors (each) and the ship with the golden moon.  We have found designs we liked that were as high as $40.  These estimates are for postcards in excellent condition, and they are only estimates.