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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MARGARET TARRANT Fairies Goblins Postcard Artist

Margaret Tarrant, beloved British illustrator of postcards and storybooks, featured three basic themes in her work: fairies and goblins, children in nature, religiious Christian images.  In this post, we focus on her works showing fairies, elves, goblins, all forest and meadow dwellers.

Margaret Tarrant created an impressive body of work and was extremely popular in the 1920s and 1930s.  Her work is still enthusiastically collected today.  She was born in 1888, the only child of Percy Tarrant, a landscape artist, and Sarah Wyatt.  Her father was a successful illustrator, published in magazines, books and greeting cards.  Margaret followed his lead, developing her own unique watercolor style.  Her friends included Molly Brett, and Cicely Mary Barker, also popular artists of fairies, children and religious subjects.  

The Scots Pine Fairies wear pointed hats and perch in a Scots Pine tree, a big full moon glowing on the horizon...The Fairy Troupe shows a group of tiny fairies parading with flowers... Pear-blossom Fairy has settled on a pear tree branch and is surrounded by white petals and butterflies.  Gorgeous colors, mystical images, characterize Tarrant's work in this genre.
All the postcards in this post were published by The Medici Society, established in 1908 by Philip Lee Warner and Eustace Gurney.  Their goal was to publish the work of artists so that their images could be more widely distributed.  Postcards are a perfect medium for this - the owners of the Medici Society resolved to sell their products "for the lowest price commercially possible"...nowadays some of the Medici Society postcards, including those by Margaret Tarrant, can bring solid prices.  

Below is one of our favorites in the Fairy series, the Cherry Fairies, surrounded by a decorated border and sharing the spotlight with ripe red fruit.  Exquisite colors, delicate imagery, a fine example of Margaret Tarrant's work.

Above we find little winged goblins or fairies writing letters on flower petals...they have insect-style wings.

This is a newer version of Tarrant's work, also by The Medici Society, printed on matte white postcard stock - vivid colors light up this Rainbow Fairies image.

The last image in this post, Fantasia, is an exceptionally fine image of fairies beside a stream, with the boy sporting butterfly wings and the girl having translucent wings like those of a  dragonfly.  Water lilies and fish in the stream and a profusion of delicately-colored flowers complete the scene.

Price Estimates:  Fairy and Goblin images by Margaret Tarrant can be acquired from about $10 - $25 each, depending on the seller either on the internet or at a show and on the availability of different images.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.


  1. An excellent write up on Medici cards A site I must visit again

    1. Glad you enjoyed this post - thanks for the nice comment!