Thursday, February 13, 2014
As Valentine's day approaches, it seems the right time for a selection of antique Valentine postcards with the theme of turning cold-hearted objects of affection into warm-hearted lovers. These flame-themed images from a variety of publishers make a bright collection.
Happy Valentine's Day 2014!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Frances Brundage was an artist with several different styles, all distinct. Some of her illustrations are quirky and fun, some cute and some are downright odd. However, she was an accomplished artist at creating jewel-colored exquisite images, too. In this post, we look at some of my favorites - her images for beautiful Valentines. These are unsigned, embossed, divided back postcards.
Above is a complex design of a little girl blowing bubbles with an old-fashioned pipe. She holds a cup of bubble mixture and Cupid appears in the biggest bubble. A butterfly and a rosy skyline complete the image.
Below is Cupid in green, quiver at the ready, wearing a sultry expression. Cupid appears on a solid silver background holding a garland of flowers. Fine detailed embossing, and the usual delicately-rendered beautiful face of a Brundage figure.
Here we see Cupid at work washing a big red heart with a scrub brush and a bowl of suds. The fine image of the kitten is another testament to Brundage's artistic skill.
Below is a little girl looking out her window, set in a big red heart with a gold rim. The card is especially bright, with lots of intense red color, including a burning torch, fields of rosy flowers in the background and red floral garlands.
This Valentine shows a sweet-faced girl with her puppy dog, where the background is a field of purple violets. Again, rich and detailed embossing adds to the overall effect. Brundage's unsigned work can often be identified by the big soulful eyes and soft, flowing hair on her characters.
Some of the most treasured die-cut Hold-to-Light Valentines have images by Frances Brundage. Here are two - above, children embrace while an Angel lights the heart in a streetlamp. Below, a little sailor uses the pump and an Angel catches red hearts in a basket. These are both full of die-cut glowing details that shine when held up to a light.
I wanted to include another Frances Brundage Valentine, one of the series collectors often call Shy Children. Each Valentine has a love note and cute little youngsters. You can see how dramatically different a style Brundage uses for this series...white backgrounds and the big notes take up most of the space with little almost cartoon-like images of the children adding splashes of color. This is a charming and amusing series, and not difficult to find.
PRICE ESTIMATES: The prices for Brundage Valentines like the ones featured in this post range from about $25 - $65, with the die-cut Hold-to-Light Valentines being the most expensive. Her other designs, with cute or quirky designs cost about $5 - $10. Note: her Valentines with Black children are high-priced. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Playing cards appear on antique postcards in several styles...sometimes, there are simply displays of cards, or hands of cards, with the playing card(s) being the entire illustration. In this post, we focus on images where playing cards are part of the image or the inspiration for the design. To open, an invitation to attend a Card Party with bright colors on a flat divided back postcard. Unused, so it would be possible to have this card copied for current use.
Good Luck is the greeting on this vivid embossed postcard with an unusual assortment of symbols - an ivy horseshoe, playing cards and running dogs. Printed in Germany, a divided back postcard, also unused.
Below, a series of Valentine postcards with Cupid offering predictions to interested youngsters, using playing cards to tell their fortunes. Divided backs, nice embossing. Postmarked 1910.
The design of playing cards with the suite symbol turns these early undivided postcards of pretty ladies into Playing Card postcards. Flat cards, one a black/white design, one with coloring.
More lovely ladies appear as if characters on playing cards in these tinted real photo images of popular performers -
This copyright 1909 postcard with divided back, flat image and vivid colors shows a newly married couple and has a caption about fortune-telling: The 4 of Hearts in Gypsy lore brings tell-tale rice and shoes galore.
PRICE ESTIMATES: Playing Card postcards offer a wide assortment of designs to the collector, in a wide variety of prices. The cards in this post range in price from about $7 to about $25, with the earliest ones being the hardest to find and the more expensive. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Happy New Year! This post focuses on the New Year tradition of making Resolutions to improve our behavior or reach certain goals in the following year. Like many positive promises we make to ourselves, our Resolutions are often more honored in the breach as the opening postcard makes clear. A flat divided back postcard with red highlights and border, copyright 1911.
These three whimsical snowpeople Resolution postcards are published by Whitney with nice embossing and divided backs. The Resolutions are interesting - not always the usual! - and I especially like the way the illustrations break out beyond the borders of the designs.
Now, here's a classic Resolution that friends can support! Gold details added to a divided back postcard with light embossing.
This unusual Resolution postcard provides a blank space for you to write your own Resolutions.
A wonderful sunrise image with subtle colors on a flat divided back postcard.
We close with a positive take on the New Year's Resolution - if at first you don't succeed...well, you know. A vivid flat postcard postmarked 1914.
PRICE ESTIMATES - New Year Resolution postcards are fun and varied, and the images in this post cost about $5 to about $15, with the Whitney snowpeople being the highest priced. These estimates are for postcards in excellent condition, and they are only estimates.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
We were exceptionally happy to add a baby to our family this year, and I want to end the year by expressing that wonderful feeling with some favorite baby postcard images.
Above a bevy of babies enjoys the view from clouds in a star-studded sky under the benign watch of the man in the moon. I have four cards from this series and they are magical. Published by B.K.W.I. in black and white, they are all early undivided back postcards with flat images.
Here's an entry in the babies-under-the-stars category, but with a real photo image enriched by color tinting. What a sweet bewildered little sitter for the photographer, with her shoes and socks beside her! This is a French divided back RPPC.
Below are four tiny charmers on a T.S.N. postcard, a colorful flat image on a divided back postcard, postmarked in 1911. The greeting is in German, and there's no artist's signature, even though the artwork is noteworthy.
Below is a little baby in an old-fashioned highchair, amused by tiny yellow chicks on the floor. That sweet toothless smile is one of the enchanting attractions babies offer us. A fine embossed postcard published by PFB with beautiful artwork by Marie Flatscher.
Below our baby in a highchair is another Flatscher design for PFB that asks, "Who would not be a father?" Flatscher illustrated a whole series of happy childhood images for PFB, all embossed and with rich colors - many with bright red details! The series was published with sentiments printed in German and in English.
In closing, thank you for tuning in and Best Wishes for joyous holidays & health and happiness throughout 2014...
...Toni in Florida
Good Luck in the New Year is a traditional wish, illustrated on antique postcards by a variety of Good Luck symbols. This post focuses on the pig as a symbol decorating New Year postcards, sending wishes for prosperity to the recipient. Our first postcard shows children with well-fed pigs, and the girl carrying a giant shamrock, another popular Good Luck icon. Part of a series published by PFB with nice embossing.
The artist combined these smiling pigs with gold coins to send wishes for wealth and prosperity...their tails offer Good Luck for 1911. A fun collection can be made of New Year date (or date-in-design) postcards which can be found from simple dates, sometimes embellished with flowers or gold ink, to more elaborate designs like this one. Nice embossing and a witty image. (There is another post in this blog of New Year date postcards.)
On this image of humanized or anthropomorphic pigs, a circus act brightens the New Year greeting. The ringleader wears a big blue bow and a tophat. This is a flat postcard with a silver background and a divided Winsch back.
The pig stands for prosperity across cultures. Eating marzipan pigs is a holiday tradition in Germany, while peppermint pigs are served in England. Here children ski downhill with a little pig and a large shamrock.
This early undivided back flat postcard shows a glamorous lady with a short skirt and a glass of bubbly riding a champagne bottle - the flying cork pops a piglet. Wonderful image published in Germany with risque overtones.
Above are two early undivided back postcards with cheery pig images, not titled for the New Year but showing pigs in snowy weather. One has a holiday greeting hand-written on the front and the other is an unused Private Mailing Card. These are flat images with superb fantasy designs of relatively realistic looking pigs.
Below is a woman dressed as a clown riding a large pig. Although the ride looks risky, she wears a big smile. Another New Year Date postcard, this time for 1903. An early undivided back flat image, sent in Belgium in 1902.
Sometimes you wish for Good Luck, sometimes it just catches up with you, as seems to be the case with this little boy losing his britches to a curious pig. A big shamrock completes the Good Luck design. This flat humorous image is postmarked 1913.
PRICE ESTIMATES: Good Luck New Year postcards with pigs can be found at all prices. The postcards in this post range from about $6 to $15, with the 1911 embossed pig tails being the most expensive. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.
Friday, December 6, 2013
When I began this blog several years ago I wrote about 'modern' Santa Claus postcards at the turn-of-the-century that showed our Christmas hero in what were then innovative modes of transportation. Of course, many of the earliest Santa Claus postcards show him walking - through snowy forests or along the empty nighttime streets of villages. He is still shown carrying his huge bag of toys, even when he's on foot, leaving us to wonder how he gets around the globe with just a staff to help him through the cold snowdrifts. This post shows him with some fun fantasy ways of getting to all the children of the world on other vehicles. Above Santa Claus uses a green dirigible to carry toys and evergreen trees on a beautifully embossed postcard postmarked in 1909.
Here the children meet Santa as he arrives on a little train, the kind that we might have seen at a playground or amusement park. Even though he looks too big for his vehicle, it does provide plenty of room for toy freight. Bright colors and rich embossing, postmarked 1911.
This is a cheery Santa on a rocking horse with a basket of toys instead of a sack. Charming design but his proud steed wouldn't take him very far. The postcard can be found in a silk-suit version as well. Although there is some writing on the divided back, it hasn't been postmarked. Some collectors during the Golden Age of collecting sent postcards to fellow collectors in envelopes to protect them from the damage the mails might inflict. This postcard, although nearly 100 years old, looks like it could have been printed yesterday.
Here is a more traditional view of Santa arriving in town on a donkey, a time-honored mode of transportation. He is accompanied by a solemn Angel who holds the donkey's bridle. Also embossed and with subtle colors, this fine image is from PFB publishers.
Santa Claus in a boat is an unusual image - here he is navigating through rapid waters, toys on board. The richly embossed design is highlighted with many shining silver details. A truly outstanding Santa Claus postcard, with a bit of writing on the divided back but not postmarked.
Automobiles were a popular way to portray Santa, and we have several auto related Christmas eve vehicles here. Above is a simple automobile, a bit like a box on wheels, with an Angel along for the ride. Nice embossing and gold details add to this image. Postmarked 1908.
Here is a more elaborate automobile with running board and upholstered seat. Santa Claus looks stern; perhaps he wishes the Angels having a snowball fight would settle down - he has a lot of work to do, and not much time! Published by Tuck, Series #C 304, this card has great embossing and bright gold added - the automobile is almost all gold. Some writing on the divided back but not postmarked.
Ultimately, the best form of transportation for a fellow who needs to circumnavigate the globe quickly with a weighty pack is to fly under his own super power, and here we see a postcard from a fantastic group of illustrations where he's doing just that - stepping down from the clouds when he needs to make a delivery. These postcards can be found with and without gold details. This is a plain one published by S&M of New York and Berlin with nice embossing. Writing on the divided back, but not postmarked.
PRICE ESTIMATES: All the postcards shown here are embossed with wonderfully colorful designs. These Santa Claus designs range in price from about $15 to $60 or more, the most expensive being the rare images of Santa in a boat and flying above the town. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.