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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

THEME Collecting: Red EASTER Postcards

There are many themes that collectors prize when it comes to antique postcards.  I have an album of just art deco designs, lots of California postcards and another album of just Real Photo Postcards.  For many years, I have collected Samuel Schmucker artwork postcards and New Year postcards with the year date included in the design.  From other collectors, I have heard that they favor artist Ellen Clapsaddle, umbrellas in the image, or even "X marks the spot" where the sender has marked their location (or hotel room) on the face of the postcard with an X.  Of course, many folks enjoy seeking out postcards that show views of their favorite town, occupation or vacation spots.

In this post, I offer another sort of theme, this one based on color.  All of the postcards shown here are Easter holiday images, all with the color red featured.

There isn't too much to say about these cards other than what you can readily see - some are embossed, some are flat.   They all have an element of fantasy (another great collecting theme) in the design.  I first purchased the marching rabbits carrying carrots, and was so happy with the dramatic red background that I just went on collecting Easter postcards with a big dollop of red in the image.

This is a French postcard with girls and lambs inside a giant egg.  Once you have selected a theme based on color or image, you can find entries from all over the world.

This lop-eared rabbit is breaking out of a big red egg with a gold banner in the background. There are other great red egg postcards for Easter, too.

One advantage of theme collecting is that display is enhanced - if you belong to a Postcard Club that hosts Display Board competitions, your theme is a great starting place for creating a winning Board! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Winsch SCHMUCKER Easter Fantasy Postcards

Happy Easter!  

This post shows the Winsch-published Samuel Schmucker Easter fantasy postcards of pretty women in flowers.  Here are a couple of close-ups to show the delicacy of the artwork on these fine embossed postcards, all embellished with butterflies and gold details.

 This is one of my favorite series, and I hope you enjoy it, too! 

Best wishes for a happy holiday and a wonderful Spring!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

RPPC DRESS UP Real Photo Postcards

There are many reasons to dress up, and this post shows real photo postcards that celebrate the fun of it for both children and adults.  Above, delightful little ones offer a performance with white outfits and cut-out stars.  

Here are two portraits of adults with children dressed up as Indians, a fairly common costume adventure at American photo studios.  A friend in Britain tells me that the equivalent there was children dressed up in kilts.  These are unused divided-back postcards that have CYKO and AZO stampboxes, dating them 1907 - 1920s.

Here is a little beauty dressed in a wonderfully ornate Oriental outfit.  She looks happy to be having her picture taken in her fancy jacket, headdress and pants.  Don't miss the fur rug. The sender wrote "Merry Christmas" on the back.  A divided-back AZO stampbox image, we can date it 1907-1918. 

This young fellow holds a big old-fashioned camera and looks very proud in his sailor outfit. An AZO stampbox dates this unused postcard 1904-1918.  With a divided back, we can also date this postcard 1907-1918.

Of course, children were not the only ones who donned costumes for their moment before the camera.  Cowboy outfits were popular with men, who sometimes posed in front of fake barroom scenes aiming pistols at each other.  This tall man has selected wooly pants or chaps for his portrait, although his wife wears regular clothing.  Hand-dated on the back 1921, this arcade photo studio was located in Charleston, West Virginia.

Sally Loomis wears a risque Hollywood-styled Indian costume on this 1940 Minnesota postcard as she arrives to participate in the St. Paul's Carnival Parade.   

This autographed San Francisco postcard is one of several issued after the 1906 earthquake to advertise the Chinatown business of Mr. & Mrs. Wong Sun Yue Clement.  In their shop, they sold imported items and souvenirs of the quake.  She wears Chinese dress to match her husband, and also has signed the postcard Mrs. Howard Gould's Sister to take advantage of her link to a wealthy and well-known San Francisco relative.  

This post closes with an unused photo postcard from a studio in St. Augustine, Florida. Saluting in his military-style costume, this handsome little boy directs a serious look toward the camera. An AZO stampbox dates the photograph 1904-1918.  With a divided back, we can date it 1907-1918.

Real photo postcards with people in costumes come in a wide variety - there are some wonderful images of women in exotic outfits that pre-date the glamour photography of today, for instance.  Whatever sub-set of the Dress Up postcards you select, you're sure to have fun with this genre! 

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.