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!

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.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Artist Signed BARRIBAL Postcards ca. WWI

William Henry Barribal (1874-1952) was a popular postcard artist with an easily recognizable signature.  An accomplished designer and painter, he created a series of images that were used on WWI recruitment posters in the UK.  He was also a master at creating designs of beautiful women and children, and it is this talent we will explore in this post.  Above, KITTY, with an impressionistic flair, is from The Barribal Series published by James Henderson of London.  It is a flat divided back postcard. 

This sweet little girl with a big red hair bow is from the UK Florence House Artistique series.  It is also a divided back flat image.  

My British grandfather was wounded fighting for the Allies in WWI.  While deployed, he sent three beautiful Barribal postcards to my grandmother as shown below.  

These are elegant women on divided back flat images from the Artistique series published by the Florence House in the UK.  Some have English and French captions.  I inherited these three postcards and then sought out the two below from the same series.

PRICE ESTIMATES: Signed Barribal postcards cost from $10 - $25 depending on rarity of design and condition.  This estimate is for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and it is only an estimate.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

RPPC Circa 1910 SHOPPING Photo Postcards

Shopping is a daily part of our lives, as it was in the early 1900s.  Prices have changed and stores were somewhat different as seen in this post of real photo postcards from the period.   Above, ladies in a millinery store investigate the newest styles in hats.  At that time, a woman's dress cost $10-$14 and her shoes $2-$8 a pair.  

Who doesn't love a sale?  Lyons' signs look rather solid however, so their "last great sale" may have gone on for some time.  Many big cities still have storefronts that look like this where quitting business signs are  a permanent feature. 

In 1910, the average wage was $538.00 a year.  Bacon was 20 cents a pound, eggs cost 27 cents a dozen and Kellogg's Corn Flakes were 9 cents a box.  Then as now, grocery shopping was a significant part of a household budget. Here are people at the Atlantic & Pacific store, the forerunner of the grocery chain, A & P.

These children are at the candy store where glass cases show off a variety of treats (peanut brittle was 10 cents a pound) that make them smile.  

A horse-drawn delivery wagon stands outside the South End Market in this picture.  

Baker's Drug Store shows cigars and magazines in the window.  

These folks are at the butcher shop; a sign behind them advertises "chickens - live or dressed."  The handwritten message on the back says, "This is the workings here now...Ted & Chris still killing and Joe is upstairs."   

Price Estimates: These real photo postcards provide fascinating glimpses into the everyday lives of Americans at the turn of the century.  Interiors with clear details are especially interesting and prized by collectors.  Postcards like the ones shown here will cost between $20 - $40 each.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


This post shows a variety of Art Nouveau postcards.  The Art Nouveau period flourished from the 1880s until the First World War.  Nature served as inspiration, with flowers, leaves  and curving, swirling lines creating elegant designs in architecture, on furniture, artwork and in the graphic arts.  Different artists interpreted the style in their individual ways, as can be seen by the first two postcards in our post.  Above, we see blossoms bordering a spare design by Henri Meunier.  His ladies are displayed on solid color backgrounds.   Below is a lady among purple and white lilacs by Jack Abeille, who created a series of women with different types of flowers, each labeled with the flower's name.

I've had the postcard below in my collection for a long time without knowing about the artist, whose name, Victor Mignot, I found in the 1977 book by Alain Weill shown below. In the book, I learned that the artist had designed advertising posters for bicycles, and that this series of his postcards is "devoted to sport."  This large format paperback book is a useful guide to a selection of Art Nouveau postcards.  The postcards are shown in large color illustrations with brief descriptions of the artists.  

Here is a fashionable lady with striped shoes signed by Gaston Noury, who has an easy-to-identify signature.  An elaborate design with an unusually subtle palette.

A different sort of design can be seen above with a wide border at the bottom by Kempf, from a series published by Tuck. 

You may be familiar with additional well-known Art Nouveau artists, such as Mucha, Kirchner and Combaz.   While the popular and expensive work of these artists falls in the "investment" category, you may want to enjoy Art Nouveau designs that cost less. 

You can seek out fine images without famous artists' names..  One postcard in my collection displays all the classical elements of Art Nouveau design - a beautiful woman enjoying roses in the garden. This is a divided-back flat postcard and has printed on the back:  "The Ellanbee" Nouveau Art Series No. 105 Printed in Austria.

The risque postcard below shows a woman in a dramatic low-cut gown and a fanciful hat.  The circle in the background has gold added - an outstanding image on a flat undivided back postcard.  On the back the only indication of its origin is "Germany".   

The woman with swirling garments carrying wheat above is one of a Stroefer-published series of the seasons.  She is SUMMER.

This gorgeous postcard of a dark-haired woman in red has gold highlights applied throughout the design.  It is a German-published postcard, postmarked 1903, with no publisher provided. 

Art Nouveau designs also appear in more contemporary art.  One example is the colorful poster-postcards that advertised bands performing in San Francisco at Bill Graham's venues in the 1960s/1970s.