We are always buying postcards and photos from before 1950 - email us at circa1910@tampabay.rr.com.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

St. Patrick's Day People Postcards

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th this year - and while there are many vivid green St. Patrick's Day antique postcards, we are focusing in this post on the designs that include people.  We have examples from some top publishers, all embossed.  The postcard of a beautiful lady above is published by Raphael Tuck of Great Britain.  The lady wears a red bow and a leafy crown in her hair, and holds shamrocks - symbol of Ireland and of Good Luck.  It is postmarked 1909 from Washington, D.C. 

This postcard includes some classic design elements for the St. Patrick's Day holiday - a view of Ireland, a clay pipe, a golden harp and - again - a cluster of shamrocks.  Frequently, these elements are the central design on a St. Patrick's Day postcard, but in this design they serve in combination with a pretty woman dressed in an old-fashioned outfit with a bonnet, all in green.

Here is an unusual fantasy design with a little blonde girl's face inside a giant shamrock, from The Irish Store, New York.  The design is embossed while the lettering is flat.  This postcard says Carta Posta on an early undivided back, "The address only to be written on this side" as was the norm from 1901 - 1907.    Below is a portrait of St. Patrick, inside a green shamrock (with just three leaves) flanked by the Irish and American flags.  The design is by Lounsbury, with the notation beneath the U.S. flag.   

This design combines a St. Patrick's Day motif with the connection between the Old Country and the New - Ireland and the United States.  Gold embellishment is added to the harp, and the flag staffs and tassles. 

On the right, we see a gentleman dressed in traditional garb, with his high boots and hat and a green coat.  This design has some of the classic elements noted above - this time the harp is shown in silver, with a Good Luck horseshoe and lots of green shamrocks.  The greeting is Top o' the Mornin' and there are silver accents all through the embossed image.
Ellen H. Clapsaddle, a favored artist among collectors, designed a number of lively St. Patrick's Day postcards with people in them - pretty ladies, dapper gentlemen and cheerful children.  Here is a little girl, perched on a chair in her holiday green, with shamrocks pinned to her scarf.  The Wearing of the Green is the sentiment, a classic Irish addition to many St. Patrick's Day postcards.  This image of a happy child is unsigned, but we have included a signed Ellen Clapsaddle design below which may or may not have been intended as a St. Patrick's Day design.  With the green automobile and blown-back umbrella, and two of the riders wearing green hats, we like to think it was. 
Our last St. Patrick's design is published by John Winsch with artwork by Samuel Schmucker - this glamorous lady wears a fancy green and white outfit and stands before a giant shamrock set against a textured gold panel in the background.  In front of the shamrock are crossed clay pipes, all surrounded by art nouveau styled swirls.  The lettering, somewhat hard to read, is in gold at the bottom right and says St. Patrick's Day Greetings with the very elaborate first letters that John Winsch often used.  Schmucker designed a number of fine St. Patrick's Day postcards that were published by Winsch, some of them with opening booklets.

Price EstimatesSt. Patrick's Day postcards with people in them are usually a bit more expensive than the designs that simply combine Irish symbols or scenes.  The ones shown here range from about $8.00 up to about $15.00, with the more unusual designs commanding higher prices.  For the Ellen H. Clapsaddle collector, there are many of her over 2,000 postcard designs still available in good condition, and you may find a St. Patrick's Day card for a great price with careful watching and bidding.  The most expensive card shown in this post is the Schmucker design - it can cost as much as $50.00 in eBay stores or at postcard shows.  These estimates are for cards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates of current prices.

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