We are always buying collections of postcards and photographs from before 1950 - email us at circa1910@tampabay.rr.com if you have a collection to sell!

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Real photo postcards made on photographic paper leave us a fine record of earlier daily life and historic events.  Some were made by professional photographers and others by hobbyists.  If you are fond of real photo postcards, there is lots of information about them on the internet and other posts in this blog that may interest you.  

Some buyers and dealers confuse postcards that were printed from photographs and those that were developed on actual photographic paper. The quick way to tell the difference is to use a  magnifying glass - the printed cards show dots from the printing process and the true real photo postcards (RPPCs) do not. 

 All the postcards in this post are real photo postcards, all professionally made.  We begin with images of folks taking to the air in studio fantasies where the people are actually behind airplane cutouts and their image is combined with a ground scene by the photographer.  

On the back of the above fantasy, a previous owner has written COLORADO, and I like the busy airshow feeling to the scene below these high-flying women.

These young fellows had themselves photographed in an automobile cutout at a studio where the enterprising photographer included his business name in the street scene backdrop.

This fun fantasy of a lady playing cards with herself was a popular type of souvenir photo at tourist spots.  Done with cleverly-placed mirrors, these multiple image pictures were sometimes done with folks reading newspapers or just sitting at the table with themselves. Dating from the early 1900s, they can be found postmarked from Atlantic City to Russia.   

Here is a dramatic and beautiful fantasy where the photographer has combined images against a black background to make a fantasy image.  One of the most famous of real photo fantasies using this technique is an image of a man with a nude woman on his tie - hard to find, expensive and fabulous.

Another popular fantasy is achieved by people placing their heads on top of cartoon-like prop images.  These can be found dating from the early 1900s through the 1940s.  Here is a cross-over collectible with fellows posing with a drawing that says they are getting cleaned up for the Alaska-Yukon Exposition in Seattle, Washington in 1909. 

A fellow in a fantasy checked suit walks his fantasy bulldog on this postcard - of course, he wears an actual hat and smokes a real cigar.

We end with a fantasy comprised of a big bottle combined with a lovely lady in a tinted lacy gown. Colorful and witty, this real photo postcard of a "love tonic" shows off the photographer's skill at blending images to create a great montage:  Note the way the woman's hand seems to rest on the edge of the bottle's opening! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Here are more lovely Samuel Schmucker Valentine designs published by John Winsch.  All these postcards are embossed with the fancy lettering Winsch publishers used.   We open with a  lovely lady in a rain of hearts against a golden background, followed by two Valentine postcards with an international theme - Cupid visiting pretty ladies from foreign lands.

In the above postcard, even Cupid has dressed up in native style - very colorful!

The lady in green with a fabulous feathered hat plays a heart-shaped instrument surrounded by flying love letters, reminiscent of the flying heart being held by the beautiful woman in the last post.

A mailbox serves as a perch for Cupid in only a top hat and tuxedo jacket.  He holds a pretty bare babe wearing only a hat.  They are on the Valentine's Letter Box with a garland of roses, the symbol of the flying heart appearing once again.  This is one of a series of mail-theme Valentine postcards Schmucher designed with more below.  Witty and charming and just a bit risque, these all have wonderful detail and big gold hearts that serve as a perfect Valentine backdrop.

I hope you enjoyed these Schmucker/Winsch Valentine postcards, and that you have had a fine Valentine's Day!  Warm wishes from Toni in Florida

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Samuel SCHMUCKER Winsch VALENTINE Postcards

As mentioned earlier, my first truly exciting find when I began postcard collecting in the 1970s was a Valentine with artwork by Samuel Schmucker, published by John Winsch.  It is the dark-haired beauty using tweezers to take heart-shaped candies out of a candy box.  You can see her on the March 20th, 2011 post.  In this post, I'll add some more fine Schmucker designs published by John Winsch for Valentine's Day.  

All the Valentine postcards shown in this post are embossed with the fancy lettering John Winsch used and gold accents throughout the designs.  Above are two postcards using the same artwork but in different designs.  This lovely blond woman is flanked by red fantasy hearts...in this image we see some of Schmucker's unusual dark hints...are these hearts smiling or smirking? 

All sweetness and light here on two beautiful images - the traditional Schmucker 'halo' background has been rendered above with a heart and pink roses.  Below, the 'halo' is a green heart with a delicate floral garland around the edge.

Below, a beautiful woman floats serenely in a swirl of hearts and a water lily, pre-Raphaelite style.   

The pretty woman below has a spider-web background (like my favorite with the candy box) that hints again at the darker side of love.She holds a winged heart, perhaps a symbol of romance's fleeting quality.

A beautiful nurse bandages a wounded heart, a classic Valentine image with Schmucker elegance added.

This sleeping beauty is of particular interest because she also appears on a vivid Schmucker/Winsch Christmas postcard with Santa's face in the spot now filled with lilac-colored blossoms.  

Schmucker could draw lovely ladies from any angle - here is a profile of a lovely brunette with gold highlights in her hair.

We close with another multi-use design.  This gorgeous blond with an enigmatic look also graces a Christmas postcard with holly on her hat and in place of the red carnations here. For her Valentine appearance, gold hearts have been added to her fur collar and red hearts have been added to the background.  You can see the Christmas version in the February 3, 2015 post.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Antique & Vintage SNOWMAN Postcards

So much of the country is still under snow that it seems appropriate to post a selection of snowman postcards.  We begin with a young Pierrot clown trying to make friends with a big snowman with coal-lump features, wearing a classic tophat and smoking a pipe.  It doesn't go completely smoothly, as the second image from this series shows.

Although that snowman is unfriendly, most snowmen (snowpeople) on antique postcards are sweeter, more innocent characters.  Below is one of my favorite examples, with a tiny bear watching a snowcouple embrace.  They have traditional carrot noses and an umbrella leans against the snow-covered fence.

Some postcard snowmen are at the mercy of rascally children.  This vivid New Year date postcard includes a wary snowman under fire with the children all armed with snowballs. Don't miss his saucepan hat!

The snowman on the postcard below is under attack, too.  

Here's a gentler interaction between a courtly snowman and a little girl.  They're both smiling on this German New Year postcard.

Some snowmen have human talents and abilities.  This cheery fellow with a very human face plays music for a bird perched on a branch in the snowy forest.  A crescent moon lights the nighttime scene.  Red mushrooms and a horseshoe add traditional good luck symbols to a French New Year design.

This unusual snowman also has a human-like face with ears and a formidable nose.  He wears a funnel hat and pops open a New Year bottle of champagne amid golden stars and snowflakes.  Apparently, this isn't his first bottle.  A witty and dramatic image from Germany.  


Samuel Schmucker died young and left behind an impressive body of artwork.  This post focuses on his Christmas and New Year 'winter' women on embossed John Winsch postcards.  We open with a lovely lady wrapped up against the cold, skaters on a frozen pond in the background.  This postcard features the circle feature found on many Schmucker designs, this time defined by mistletoe.  The background is a pebbly gold and the fancy lettering is a characteristic of John Winsch postcards.

This beautiful blonde is also 'framed' by a circle, this time of holly.  Her arms are full of snowballs and there is a snowy hillside behind her.  Again, the pebbly gold surrounding the holly and the fancy Winsch lettering add interest.  Note the distinct expression on this beauty's face - Schmucker women aren't shy retiring types.

This not-shy gal gives a snowman a hug - he seems a bit surprised.

Our fourth entry has sledders on the hillside in the background and features a lovely woman in a striped hat and a bright red scarf.  She has a slight smile that lets us know she has plenty of self-confidence, thank you...

From a different series, this elegant woman is wrapped in furs and wears a stunning ermine-and-holly hat.  The background has a brushstroke style.  

In this design, a lovely lady holds a bizarre Santa Claus mask, adding a slightly sinister air to the image.  She doesn't seem intimidated, however. Wearing a subtle smile, she appears quite up to a Christmas masquerade.

When I began collecting postcards in the 1970s, my first album purchase included a Schmucker Winsch Valentine and I've been a fan ever since. I'll share that postcard in a Valentine post.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Champagne Toast on NEW YEAR Postcards

Happy New Year!  
This post shows celebrations with champagne on postcards from 1899 to 1921 with a variety of images featuring bubbly...we open with little clowns and their dog flying into the New Year on a bottle of champagne powered by bubbles under pressure.  This is a divided back flat postcard with quality artwork and vivid colors published by Meissner & Buch.

Here is a pretty lady changing the calendar from December to January, a glass of champagne in her hand.  She wears a bright smile and a fetching low-cut gown.  A divided back flat postcard, this is postmarked 1921.

Another cheery lady celebrates with three realistically inelegant pigs, symbols of prosperity.  She wears a bright dress, black tights on her exposed legs.  A German caption at the bottom of a divided back flat postcard.  The pigs look a bit tipsy.

This French-captioned New Year postcard combines a big champagne bottle and a risque fantasy of men in red tuxedos pursuing a sexy woman in a frothy outfit.  She appears to have popped out of the bottle.  Great artwork on a divided back flat postcard, published by M.M. Vienne.  

The oldest postcard in this post is artist-signed at the bottom right, with a winged midnight clock at the top - how time flies!  An early undivided back flat postcard, it was postmarked 1898.

These charming little clowns are on a B.W. - published divided back postcard with nice embossing.  Beneath a huge shamrock, a symbol of Good Luck, they share a toast to the New Year.  They look a bit tipsy, too.

This delightful New Year fantasy of little Angels carrying a champagne bottle to the moon was published by the Illustrated Post Card Co. of New York.  Nice embossing, great artwork and strong colors on a divided back postcard.  I especially like the way the man in the moon's body is faintly sketched in a misty cloud-like form...this is a great series to collect, filled with wonderful fantasy images.  

We close with energetic clowns suspending a big champagne bottle from a hot air balloon on a surrealistic New Year postcard with light embossing.  A divided back design, the artwork on this postcard is sophisticated and unusual.

I'd like to recommend Walter E. Corson's paperback reference work:  Publishers' Trademarks Identified.  A useful guide for the collector!  

Warm wishes for a healthy and happy 2015 from Toni in Florida.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Whitney REBUS CHRISTMAS Postcards

Puzzles are an intriguing sub-set of postcard collecting themes and rebus designs, where objects are used to substitute for words, are particularly fun for young collectors.  If you are trying to interest a child in collecting, this is a good place to start.  Whitney published two sets of divided-back rebus Christmas postcards shown in this post.  One has gold borders outside of a red-line border and we begin with those.  Above you see Santa Claus in the main image, and children feature in the large top images on the postcards below.  

These colorful postcards all have messages that seem especially addressed to children. 

The second set of rebus Christmas postcards have no borders and some examples can be seen below.  

If you are a fan of Whitney designs, you have probably noticed that the popular Nimble Nicks series was illustrated by several different artists.  These two rebus series appear to have had different artists, too.  Either set is charming and sure to fit into any holiday collection.  

This is the last post of 2014 - Thanks for your interest throughout the year and Happy Holidays from Florida!