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!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Publishers of antique & vintage postcards had several ways to save money.  This post illustrates three different ways publishers could economize.  First, recycling images by well known artists, like the image above by Marie Flatscher.  In one, shamrocks symbolize Good Luck in the New Year.  The second postcard, also for the New Year, features birds on a wintery branch and a different window treatment.  

Below are more examples of recycled artwork.  The first is from Winsch publishers on Easter postcards where a change of border style and the addition of a child makes a "new" image.  

Next are two examples of art deco style postcards from the 1920s, recycling images with some changes to create different designs or simply changing the background color.

The second way publishers saved money, a little bizarre, was reusing designs but with a different greeting.  These are plentiful and easy to spot.  We begin with an obvious Easter chick from Tuck publishers casting an eye on a lemon and wondering what relationship it might have to an egg.  More puzzling - what does this image have to do with Christmas?

Below are two Valentines, one with Cupid helping a pretty lady decide between love and money (a recurring theme in turn-of-the century Valentines), and one with Cupid surprising a lady while she reads a love letter.  These have been recycled as a Christmas greeting with the addition of some holly and as a birthday postcard with the design unchanged.

Here is a well-known antique New Year design with children holding shamrocks and a horn, both traditional New Year symbols, and old Father Time from the previous year leaving in the background. The old car and the new red auto reinforce the old/new symbolism.  It has been recycled as a birthday greeting with no change to the design.

The third way to save money was for publishers to print divided backs on what had originally been undivided back stock with the front design intact.  The laws changed, allowing messages to be written on the back of the postcard, where publishers had originally left space on the front for the message when only the address was allowed on the back.  The following postcards have divided backs, but the image still has the space from when postcards had undivided backs.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Antique FADE AWAY Postcards

Fade away (fadeaway) postcard designs combine background colors with images to create an inventive picture that challenges the viewer to look closely.  This is a fun fool-the-eye element that adds interest to holiday and greeting postcards from the early 1900s.  

Our opening image is a Gibson Art-published divided back flat Christmas postcard where Santa Claus has a suit that blends into the background.  Gibson Art also published the fine image below of a lady driving a red automobile on a red background. Check the area near the steering wheel, where the image of her arm fades into the red background. Both of these postcards were postmarked 1913. 

Below is an example from one of my favorite series of fade away postcards, published by Stecher, with lovely little girls holding Easter rabbits and chicks.  The background is a gorgeous violet color and the fade away design is significant, with the girls' outfits completely blended into the background.  Light embossing adds to the charm of these divided back postcards.  

A different sort of fade away design is evident on the glamorous art deco image below of a woman in black stockings and a chemise that matches the background,  An artist-signed Italian postcard with divided back flat image, the smoke from her cigarette creates the caption. Elegant and spare, this is a classy risque design in the fade away style.  

Another Gibson Art Christmas postcard adds a whimsical cherub on a mailbox with children sending holiday wishes.   A divided back flat design, the little girl in white has a winter coat and boots that fade into the snowy background.  Note the footstep marks in the snow - a subtle touch added to a bright postcard.

The following three fade away designs are by a famed artist of the genre, Coles Phillips, who early on signed his work C. Coles Phillips and later dropped the initial C.  His artwork could be found on advertisements and postcards, frequently featuring lovely women with significant fade away elements.  A well-regarded artist among collectors, the sophistication of his images makes his postcards very popular.

The last image here called PALS by Phillips has a design and color palette that predates Bev Doolittle's modern fade away prints.  In her Hide and Seek Cameo series, brown and white horses fade into a background of rocks, earth and snow with a similar combination of colors.  Her beautiful prints can be seen on the internet.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Prices for fade away postcards range from about $6 - $25 for the Stecher and Gibson Art designs and about $35 - $60 for the artist-signed Coles Phillips & Italian postcards.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and they are only estimates.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A GIRL's Best Friend - RPPC Females & Canines Postcards

Everyone knows that a dog is "man's best friend"...these real photo postcards from 1910 - 1930s show that dogs are a woman's (and a girl's!) best friend, too.  These are all divided-back postcards.  Some have vivid color tinting, like the French New Year greeting above.

Whether the pup poses with a famous performer as in this image above from Rotary of London, or with a pal as in the tinted French glamour pose below, the dogs add charm to each postcard.

Dogs can give us a companion, a playmate, a confidante and a protector...here are two delightful scenes of young girls with their big dogs and captions that describe what these pets mean to them.  Both of these postcards were published in the UK.

These two pretty ladies with little dogs above are both published by Rotary of London.  They have delicate color tinting.  Our last real photo postcard was published in France and shows a little girl with roses and her dog.  It was postmarked 1931 from the Netherlands.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  The real photo postcards shown in this post cost from about $8 - $14. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Clara Miller Burd (C.M. Burd) was born in 1873 in New York City.  She studied art in New York and then in Paris and also studied stained glass design later at the Tiffany studios in New York.  Her career included work as a stained glass artist, a magazine cover illustrator, a portrait painter and, most significantly, as a popular book illustrator.  Many of her beautiful book illustrations can be found on the internet. Burd was famous for her images of children, and some can be found on postcards.  We open with one of her Sunday School designs that has her signature at lower right.  Another Sunday School postcard can be seen below.  

The Rally Day illustration above is especially fine, with wonderful detail and bright colors.  Published by Westminster Press in Philadelphia, the Copyright 1911 by C.M. Burd notation can be seen on the lower left border on this postcard as on the two above it.

Above is an example of her Cradle Roll Birthday greetings, published by Eaton and Mains New York and Jennings and Graham Cincinnati.  Again, a Copyright 1911 by C.M. Burd notation is seen at the bottom left.

The following Easter postcards are published by Tuck, from the Buds and Blossoms series  #1030.   The children are lovely and we can see Clara's logo at the bottom right.  I have  included close-up details so you can see her artwork more clearly.

All of the postcards in this post are flat divided-back designs.  The Tuck postcards have delicate artwork and subtle colors.  Burd postcards can be challenging to find.  It helps to be able to recognize her artist's logo, since sellers frequently do not identify her as the artist.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Clara M. Burd's religious designs are less expensive than holiday postcards.  The postcards here cost about $4. - $16.   These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

MILITARY Large Letter LINEN Postcards

This post gives you just a glimpse into the varied assortment of  military large letter linen postcards available to the collector.  These vivid designs feature large letters, often with views of the location inside.  The first four postcards in the post are published by Curt Teich.

The following four postcards are published by a number of different companies and made by Kropp.  I especially like the Gowen Field one - a witty design of letters hanging from an airplane with little airmen on board.  

This Keesler Air Force Base design is a "colourpicture" publication.  

The last two postcards below are both made by Kropp.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  These linen postcards vary widely in price - the ones in this post cost from about $4 to about $20 each. Some are harder to find than others. If you decide to collect them, shop carefully for condition and price: they can often be found in unused fresh condition.  These prices are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and they are only estimates.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

RPPC Bathing Beauty Real Photo Postcards

As Labor Day approaches, the end of summer arrives for many...the children are back at school and adults start planning for next year's vacation.  Here in Florida, the love-of-beach continues all year. This post is the last 2014 celebration from Postcardiva of Bathing Beauties, this time on real photo postcards.  We open with my personal favorite, a French postcard with vivid and precise hand-colored details and a truly stunning beauty.  Imaginative photographers created a wealth of studio backdrop settings for bathing beauty postcards. The image above shows striped cabanas and frothy little waves in the background, especially nice.  The publisher mark at lower left is P-C Paris.

Below is a lovely bathing beauty in a beach chair on a black-and-white photo. Like the woman above, she looks into the camera with a flirtatious smile.  This postcard is also from France. The publisher's name at bottom right is SUPER.  

Below is another image with colorful tinting applied with precision.  Note the narrow pink straps on her beach shoes.  The quality of the color application reflects the quality of the postcard. Because these images show a fancy wrap with a complicated design, they are a good demonstration of the colorist's artistry.  This postcard is from the same publisher, P-C Paris, who created the opening image above. 

Below is a real photo postcard with more beautiful coloring.  There is no country of origin printed on the back, but  LUCIA is printed at the lower right corner.  Again, the precision of the color application is impressive.   

This slender lady in a pastel beach scene is on a British postcard from Rotary Photo.  She's quite demure - more sweet than sexy - and looks away from us in a complex oceanside scene. On the back is printed This is a Real Photograph on Rajar Bromide Card.  

This cheerful beauty poses in a more classic studio scene, although the photographer deserves admiration for the trick of making her appear as if she is standing in water.  A French postcard, it was posted from and to Belgium.  The postmark is unclear - the postcard has a divided back. This woman wears the most unusual bathing suit of any woman here, with a high degree of coverage.  The rope represents a common safety measure to help swimmers stand up to the waves.  The publisher name at bottom right is TRISA.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Real photo bathing beauty postcards range in price from about $8 to over $25 depending on the complexity of the color tinting and the quality of the photograph. Women with parasols are at the high end of the range and the physical charms of the bathing beauty contribute to a higher price, too.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.