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

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lots and Lots of BABIES - Multi-baby Fantasy Postcards

In this post we look at the charming and odd multi-baby or multi-babies postcards...these were published in France, and are flat cards with lots of babies (and sometimes toddlers) placed in a variety of settings.  We begin with babies driving around in an automobile with a stork (probably from one home to another, dropping off babies along the way), and with babies perched, sleeping and seated in nests on tree branches.  

 A more unusual multi-baby card shows babies and some young children with an old-fashioned fire engine. The ladder is 'decorated' with children.  Some of the children have  dresses, suits, odd hats, a number with military flair. Others are dressed only in nightgowns or underwear. Each child has its own attitude, and, because these are collages, the scale is not always consistent.

Below, the babies are on a round amusement park ride, lots of babies squeezed into the seats.

 Here are children riding in a hot-air balloon far above the town, with lots of pretty girls, a child with a tophat and little babies in the rigging.  There's a big balloon, a basket, but no heater - keeping in mind the safety of the babies, no doubt.

One of the most fascinating themes in the multi-baby realm shows babies drinking milk from a cow - here is an example of four little ones and a placid bovine tolerating the feeding process. 

Below we see a bicycle race with little children riding and also filling the bleachers as spectators.  Again, the scale is erratic and the riders vary from tiny babies to children with Victorian outfits.

A later version of the multi-baby postcard is a real photo collage of babies on an airplane. Note the scale - the babies are either very large or the airplane is very small.  Nice tinting adds a healthy pink shade to the naked babies, some of whom have luggage.  What, do you suppose, is in those suitcases? 

 During and after World War I, a series of multi-baby postcards were produced in France that alluded to baby soldiers and to re-populating the country after the losses in combat.  Below are two patriotic multi-baby postcards - both tinted photo montages - with infant soldiers among flags and a chariot of Victory drawn through the sky by doves.   

We close with another early 1900s multi-baby image - one of my favorite printed baby scenes - showing the infants in an orchestra, each child with an instrument, and a baby serving as Conductor.  Delightful, humorous imagery to add to any postcard collection! 
Price Estimates:  Multi-baby postcards were made of flat, soft paper and often have noticeable edge and corner wear.  Finding them in Excellent condition is difficult. Therefore, this price estimate is for cards with some edge/corner wear but without holes, tears or significant creases.  Prices range from $5 - $18 depending on how common or rare the image is; pictures of babies in cabbages, women plucking babies from ponds or carrying babies in buckets are common and at the lower end of the price range.  Postcards of rare images and/or in superior condition are at the higher end.  

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