Angels were produced and sold all year on greeting postcards. For instance, Guardian Angels protect children from being run over by trains, falling off bridges and suffering other dangers, and the postcards come in a range of types from real photo to elegantly embossed gilded artwork. But Angel designs really blossom at Christmas and Easter. Here is a selection of Christmas Angels that illustrates three main types - religious, non-religious, and what I think of as whimsical - angels performing fantasy tasks or in fantasy settings.
Let's begin with a whimsical Angel arranging ornaments and sugary treats on a Victorian Christmas tree. This is an embossed postcard with lots of shining silver added throughout the design. Another whimsical design shows an angel dropping holiday apples from a basket - a gift to the townspeople below. Again, this is an embossed postcard and it has a silver border. One of the most appealing aspects of Angel postcards is that they are often elaborately decorated and add sparkle to a holiday collection.
Angels with children decorate many Christmas postcards. Often, as in this example, they come bearing toys. These 'Santa's Helper' Angels may be cute or elegant, and this postcard with very detailed embossing and lavish gilding definitely falls into the latter group.
Below, we see another helper Angel packing a crate full of toys with the assistance of a baby Angel. They both have solid gold wings on this embossed design.
The last three postcards are all examples of unusual artwork. The first is a richly embossed design set against a deep green background. The Angel has been airbrushed with vivid pastels, and there are cloud shapes embossed in the dark green below her feet. The Angel standing at the crossroads (where the sign resembles a rustic cross) wears applied fabric clothing. The last Angel is a hold-to-light postcard made of several layers - the die-cut holes in the front layer make the candles glow blue, red and yellow when the card is held up to a light. Hold-to-Light (HTL) postcards are very desirable and their prices reflect this.
Price Estimates - Beautifully embossed Angel postcards can be found at eBay auction between $5 and $10. Also, look for them at postcard shows where they are often priced very reasonably. Unusual cards with exceptional artwork can cost $12-$15. All Christmas holiday hold-to-light cards generate lively bidding on eBay, with the simple scenes of houses or churches in the snow going for $15 - $20. Hold-to-lights with Santa can cost well over $100. Angels and children will typically go to the high bidder between $25 - $60. These are prices for postcards in EXCELLENT condition - they are only estimates of current prices.