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!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An Odd COURTSHIP Easter Fantasy Postcards

The heart wants what the heart wants, and fans of Animal Planet are familiar with unusual animal friendships.  In these colorful antique Easter postcards, we see the development of an inter-species romance, from the first days of courtship when Rabbit meets Chick at a dance. 

Rabbit and Chick are having a lovely time at the dance, as we can see in this image.  All the postcards have fine embossing and wonderful colors.  Apparently this is their second dance date, since Rabbit is wearing a different jacket from our first postcard.

Chick has invited Rabbit over for a meal, and he has brought his gun and hat, perhaps having been out hunting.   A rabbit who is a hunter is a nice idea - a switch on the usual situation. 

The family grows with the addition of bunnies and little chicks, and Papa Rabbit welcomes    each baby with enthusiasm.  Here he is in a fashionable lounging outfit complete with hat.   

A participatory father, here are two delightful designs of Rabbit with the children.  He's giving twin chicks a bottle and balancing a young bunny on his foot. Note his pipe leaning against the green bench. 

In our last postcard, we see the whole family at the table with a meal of eggs on lettuce.  Papa Rabbit is spoon-feeding a little bunny, and one of the chicks is perched in a blue chair.  These images are beautifully detailed - note the heart curtains that hang in the doorway of the bedroom - and designed to bring a smile...a super series to collect!   

Printed in Germany is the only notation to help us identify the origin of these postcards - here is an image of the back.  One of our cards is postmarked 1910, and one 1912.  However, we do not know the publisher.  If you know the name of the publisher, we hope you'll share that information!

PRICE ESTIMATES:  These Easter fantasy postcards can be found priced between about $8.00 and $15.00.  There are other similar Easter fantasy series including some unsigned Clapsaddle designs published by International Art, which may go higher.  These prices are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and they are only estimates.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


This post shows a series of fantasy Easter postcards published by Ernest Nister.  Flat cards with realistic flowers, each with a little girl's face in the blossom, these are popular with collectors for their delicate details, charming facial expressions and lovely colors.  

Each postcard features different blossoms and individual faces.

Crocus flowers are classic symbols of Spring, especially well-suited to Easter greetings.

The children's expressions vary from pensive to cheerful.

An elegant series from a respected publisher, these are top-quality holiday postcards for the buyer who wants to build an investment collection.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  These lovely Easter postcards can be purchased for about $16 to about $25.  These prices are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and they are only estimates.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Whitney FAIRY Postcards

Whitney postcards practically define "cute" with images of sweet little children, humorous designs and often tongue-in-cheek captions.  One series of especially cute postcards from Whitney publishers features bare fairies with delicate wings in a variety of situations.  This post shows a selection of these charming little rascals on lightly embossed divided back postcards.  We open with a greeting with no specific holiday mentioned, although the fairies are accompanying a couple out for a drive.

The Valentine greeting with a fairy perched on a flowering tree branch, taking a photograph of baby birds in their nest, is a crossover collectible postcard for fairy fans and camera collectors.   Note that this fairy has red hair and no antennae.

Here's the same Valentine series with the checkerboard border and the antenna-free fairy hugging the baby birds. 

The Valentine above shows fairies taking the role of the fickle Cupid breaking and then mending a heart... with bow and arrow and bandages and pouring medicine for a jilted little fellow.

A little girl holds a chick and the upset hen wants her baby returned on this Easter greeting.  The fairies seem to be interceding in the disagreement on this postcard with a floral decoration around the edge.  

PRICE ESTIMATES:  The Whitney fairy postcards vary in price from about $5 to over $15 depending on the scarcity of the image.  You may be able to find them for less with careful searching.  This estimate is for postcards in EXCELLENT condition.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Today we usually buy modern postcards to record or share views from our trips, but at the turn-of-the-century, postcards were used for many different kinds of correspondence.  Beautiful designs were published to celebrate holidays, to send congratulations, get well and birthday wishes and to offer invitations to social events.  Our first invitation shows art deco styling and has the details filled in.  It is a flat card, postmarked 1908.   

The Christening invitation above is richly embossed with vivid colors and gold added to the background behind the mother and baby.  It's an outstanding design, very eye-catching with a clever clock to indicate the time of the event.  Unused, divided back.  

Another unused invitation is above, copyrighted 1910 for a children's party.  It has a space for the time the party ends as well as a line for the time the party begins...maybe parents at the turn-of-the-century (like today's parents) looked forward to the moment when the guests began heading home after the festivities!    

Here's a more general invitation published by B. B. London with a divided back,  fancy golden lettering, purple blossoms and nice embossing.  Who could resist such an elegant invitation?

If you collect Sunday School or Rally Day postcards, you probably already have some bright invitations.  Here's one with the children's faces in a moon and stars, a fun design with the details written in.  This is a divided back flat postcard.

Halloween party invitations have some unusual and amusing artwork - here we see mice with extra-long tails decorating a ghostly design.    

Below are two Tuck-published invitations with exceptional artwork.  On these postcards, the invitation itself is printed on the back in the message section, leaving the front for gorgeous images.  Verna has not included the date and time, although she signed the invitation with the children on it.  The little clown card is unused.  These are both divided back flat postcards.


Invitation postcards come in so many different 
styles that it's hard to generalize about price. The postcards in this post vary in price from about $5.00 to about $20.00 with the Tuck-
published images being the most 
expensive.  Overall, the finer or fancier the image, the higher the price.

Friday, March 14, 2014


March is coming in like a lion in some parts of the country, while it's up and down temperatures here in Florida, sometimes changing 20 or 30 degrees in the same day.  This seems like a good time to look at THERMOMETER postcards.   We open this post with a couple of images boasting of the extreme cold temperatures in two different places: White River, Canada, and Glasgow, Montana.  We begin with a close-up of the Glasgow thermometer and the 60-below temperature reading on a  real photo postcard.  Below are the White River chrome (standard size) and the full image of the RPPC Montana postcard

Next, we come to a linen postcard from the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress exposition, possibly the best-known thermometer postcard in the United States.  This is the huge Havoline thermometer building, and this postcard shows an artist's rendering of people entering...followed by the advertising on the back for Havoline Motor Oil.  

For proof that the Victorians weren't all prudish, we have only to look at this charming risque Valentine, with a little boy in a classic turn-of-the-century sailor suit lighting a fire under a fellow's floral thermometer.  

The French have many real photo montage postcards devoted to romance, including this thermometer surrounded by tinted images of flowers and descriptions of the intensity of love as the lovers' temperature rises.  I especially like the hottest designation - Crazy Love!

Not only the French saw fit to illustrate the rising interest in a romantic couple with a thermometer.  Here's an example of Love's Thermometer from a fun series with differing images for each level of passion.  This is WARM...you can see the other levels on the thermometer from FREEZING to BLOOD HEAT at 100 degrees.  

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Prices on these postcards are very reasonable, and theme collections can be a lot of fun to build as they offer great variety.  Some people collect specific animals (dogs, cats, horses and frogs are popular) and a theme can be whatever catches your fancy.  At postcard shows we have met people who collect postcards of Volkswagens and buyers who collect images of people vomiting (no kidding). I once  met a lady who collected children-with-umbrella images.  My  daughter has a spectacular mail-theme collection.  All you need to do is pick a subject and get started - happy hunting!   

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Burnin' Love VALENTINE Postcards

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

Beautiful Frances BRUNDAGE VALENTINE Postcards

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.