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, May 21, 2015

Artist Signed Postcards: FLORENCE HARDY

Here's an introduction to two pretty series by Florence Hardy, both published by C.W. Faulkner in the UK. The first series, #1081, has elaborate illustrations of romantic couples with a musical theme.  

For these two series, each image is signed and each has a caption.  These are divided back flat postcards with beautiful colors.

Each series has 6 images in the set.   

Faulkner & Co. produced card games and art prints as well as postcards.  They were in business from the 1870s to the 1950s.  Faulkner was originally in the Christmas card business together with Albert Hildesheimer but the partnership ended in 1885.  Faulkner took over the business, publishing a number of popular family card games.  Ethel Parkinson, also well-known for her postcards, was one of the card game illustrators.

This is the back of series #1081, with publishing information on the left edge.  

Below is series #914 with young couples in fancy dress, dancing.  On this series, the publishing information is printed on the front of the card along the left edge.

C.W. Faulkner and Co. produced calendars, holiday cards, birthday cards, painting books, and story books as well as postcards.  These Florence Hardy postcards show the quality of Faulkner printing, many items printed in Germany and Austria.   

This is the back of the 914 Series.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Artist Signed Postcards: R.R. WICHERA

Some artists who contributed to the Golden Age of Postcards are unknown to us. There is little or no information on their lives or careers.  

This post introduces postcard images by Raimund Ritter von Brennerstein Wichera  who was called the "king of the Viennese school" because he was the court painter of emperor Franz II and his family.

Born in 1862, Wichera became famous for his still-life, nude and portrait paintings.  He also designed in silver and painted hunting scenes.  During his lifetime, he served as president of the Vienna Old Masters' Guild, taught at the Academy of Fine Arts and raised a son, Maximilian Schurmann,  who also became a famed painter.  Wichera died in Vienna in 1925. 

From an online biography:  "Secession as an imaginative creativity looked for its symbols in nature.  It preferred a more natural movement and a graphic, decorative style.  The work of  more painters of secession was the celebration of life, nature, but most of all the woman."  

In early postcards, Wichera demonstrated his artistic strength by portraying beautiful women in fashionable outfits.  All but the last of the postcards here are undivided back flat designs published by M.M. Vienne.   

His signature is unmistakable: 

Some of Wichera's postcards have color added, while others are black/white.  Here are two flirtatious ladies scattering flowers from their automobile.   As is sometimes the case, the signature here at the lower left is faint.  If you are interested in collecting Wichera postcards, you may need to look carefully through items sorted under other headings. 

Here's a black/white image of ladies decorating a Christmas tree with a kitten standing by. The woman on the right looks over her shoulder at us with a coy smile.  

On this postcard, the sender has signed the front of the postcard since only the address was allowed on the back.  It is postmarked 1904.

This post closes with an unsigned image I believe to be a Wichera - there is no publisher given on the back, so it may have been pirated.  The back is blank without postcard printing. The sender used it in 1909 as an Easter greeting.   

Wichera's artwork fits neatly into the early Vienne style of postcards, showing elegant women and couples wearing fashionable clothing.  If you like Wichera images, you may like other Vienne postcards, too.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

MONOTINT Postcards

This post introduces a genre of antique postcards that use just one color in the design. These are called "monotint" images.  Like other types of old postcards, these go in and out of style.   They seem to have been undervalued over the last few years, with prices just now beginning to rise.  While not as vivid as some illustrations that use a variety of colors, monotints have a decorative subtlety of their own.  The postcards in this post are all early undivided back flat ones.  We open with an unused summery image of a little girl dipping a toe in a cool brook.  It is published by Stroefer, Serie III No. 5200.  On the edge of the front it also says, Monotint-Postkarte.

This boy sitting on a fence is from the same Stroefer series, No. 5204.  While the two are unsigned, the artwork is superb.  The children are charming individuals in realistic settings. There is a message written on the front, hand-dated 1899.  It was not postmarked, probably sent in an envelope to protect it.  

This gorgeous little girl is from the same Stroefer series, No. 5213.  There is a touch of soft blue-green on her bow.  It is postmarked 1899 with a hand-written message on the front.  

This postcard of lovely little girls playing in a Spring meadow is published by Nister, Series 45.  It is unused.

Here is another Stroefer-published postcard of a little girl standing in the snow, holding a basket.  It is also from the Stroefer Series III, No. 5197.  It is hand-dated on the front and postmarked 1900. 

All the images above are printed in a rich caramel color.  However, monotints can be found in other colors.  There are monotints in blue, and the one of a flirting couple below, signed by Bottaro, is in red.   

This artist-signed monotint is published by Stroefer Series 391.  There are 6 designs in the series, but there is no design number on the back.  Although an early undivided back postcard, it is postmarked 1909 from Chicago and the sender wrote a message on the left side of the back, with the address on the right, using it as a divided back postcard.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

TOPICAL Postcards - Your Choice

Although there are many postcard collectors who collect only Views of their favorite places, there are lots of choices if you want to become a collector of Topical postcards.  Holidays, my personal favorite, are included in this category, and here's a list of some more topics that may interest you.  Of course, this list is incomplete, and you can find whatever your interest is on old postcards - just one of the reasons collecting postcards is so much fun!

Postcard Topics from Artists to Zoo 


Airplanes, Alligators…..Battleships, Bathing Beauties, Beer…..Cowgirls, 

Cameras, Children 

…..Dachshunds, Dirigibles, Decoration Day…..Eastern Star, Easter


Exposition…..Fishing, Full Moon, Fire Engines …..Gramophones, Gas Stations,

Golf…..Hold-to-Light, Horses, Hands-Across-the-Sea…..Indians, Illusions,

Interiors…..Jails, July 4th, Jesus…..Kewpies, Kissing, Kittens….

Large Letter,

 Ladies, Love Letters…..Maps, Marilyn Monroe, Mermaids…..Novelties, Nudes, 

New Year..... 

…..Ostriches, Ocean beaches, Olympics…..Pipes, Politics, Playing

Cards…..Railroad, Real Photos,  


Santa Claus,  


Suffrage…..Thanksgiving Turkeys,  Telephones, Trolleys

…..Underwood Typewriter,

University, U.S. Flag 


Vaudeville, V for Victory…..World War II, Western,

Womens Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)…..Xylophones, Xtra Embossed, X

Marks the Spot…..Yellowstone, Yale, YMCA…..Zero gravity, Zebras, Zephyr trains.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Artist-signed CHILDREN Postcards: Jessie Wilcox Smith & Marsh Lambert

This post focuses on two well-known postcard artists who were especially talented at portraying children.  The first three postcards are by Jessie Wilcox Smith, who also illustrated children's books.  Her images combine a masterful use of light and shadow with a delicate hand in showing children at play.  She has an enduring popularity and there are modern reproductions of many of her designs.  These three postcards, all divided back flat images, are originals published by Reinthal & Newman. 

The first two Jessie Wilcox Smith designs shown here are signed at the lower right.  Below is an unsigned design with a sweet image. 

Marsh Lambert had a completely different style as shown in this series of little girls with flags of the WWI Allies.  Bright colors, bold lines and uncluttered images personify Lambert's work.  All three are divided back flat postcards published by A.M. Davis.  

Marsh Lambert's artwork can be found on a variety of child images - these designs are only a sample.  If you enjoy child postcards, both these artists can add value to  your collection. 

Friday, April 10, 2015


Silhouette postcards seem undervalued by U.S. collectors.  Although they are readily available from European sellers, American sellers have less of a selection available, so finding them may be a bit of a challenge. 

Silhouettes can provide dramatic images, especially when combined with colorful highlights. Here is a representative sample of color-added silhouettes with children.  All the postcards in this post have divided-backs.  

We begin with three flat postcards of little children in playful designs, all signed with the initials FB at lower right.  The backs only give us a Series number 511.  My Artist-Signed Postcard guide notes FB (not Baumgarten or Brundage) Children.  It does not tell us if the artist designed silhouettes.   

Without printed greetings, these would be wonderful framed for a child's room - we offer black mats in our eBay store, custom cut to the measurements of vintage and antique postcards, that would set off these designs beautifully.  Once the mat is added, the postcard fits perfectly into any 5X7 inch frame. 

Above is an embossed silhouette with art deco styling.  The colors and patterns added make this postcard especially bright.  Printed on the back is POST CARD with no design elements or logo.  

The two vivid Easter silhouettes above have brilliant colors added and art deco designs with shining gold details.  The designs are charming with a little boy and a rabbit celebrating Easter.  I particularly like the top image where little rabbits wearing red bows watch the boy dye eggs.  

They are flat postcards with plain borders, published by The Fairman Co. of New York, The Pink of Perfection. The publisher's logo is shown below.

There are different types of silhouettes that may interest you - some all-black ones have intricate designs of Angels or Fairies, others offer historical, seasonal or risque designs.  A collecting area worth exploring! 

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!