Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Ellen Clapsaddle ST. PATRICK'S DAY Postcards
In this post we look at some St. Patrick's Day designs on antique postcards, all by the famed postcard artist Ellen Clapsaddle. Clapsaddle designs were enormously popular, and often seem to have been pirated by anonymous publishers, who used her designs in lesser 'knock-off' postcards sometimes with blurry images or no embossing. Her work with International Art publishing appears to all be embossed. Later, when she moved to Germany, she crafted many designs for Wolf publishing that were produced on flat cards. The devastation of World War I ruined the Wolf publishing company, leaving Clapsaddle without an income. She returned to the United States with some help from the owner of the Wolf company.
All the postcards in this post are nicely embossed, and all have vivid green coloring to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Some have gold added for additional sparkle! Clapsaddle created an entire population of St. Patrick's Day celebrants, lovely ladies, men and children.
As you can see, Clapsaddle's pretty ladies have cheerful expressions on sweet faces...they also appear in the traditional green clothing with a favorite emblem of Ireland alongside...shamrocks in pots, baskets and posies.
Some sources report that there are over 2,000 different Clapsaddle postcard designs - so if you have an interest in this much-loved artist, you can build quite a collection! While she is well-known for her adorable children, we are especially fond of her fantasy designs (see the Shamrock airship in our first card at the top of this post) and her ladies. Keep your eye out on internet listings for artist-signed Clapsaddle or the initials of her International Art Publishers in the title/listing...IAP. At a show, most dealers recognize Clapsaddle postcards, so you can ask if they have them in a special location...of course, you will also want to take a quick tour through their holiday and 'children' sections to see if you can find a Clapsaddle treasure.
Price estimates: Clapsaddle postcards come with and without her signature; as a general rule, the signed ones are more valuable. As with all antique postcards, the clarity of the design, the quality of the embossing and the overall condition of the card will make a big difference in the value. Expect to pay about $8.00 - $12.00 for commonly available cards and up to $50.00 for harder-to-find images. There are also embossed and signed Clapsaddle Halloween designs which go in the hundreds. These estimates are for cards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.