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

Friday, September 2, 2011

Antique ALPHABET Postcards

Alphabet postcards from the early 1900s are fun to collect - you know you will have to find 26 postcards to complete your set, and you can choose one style or mix and match - in this post, we look at a variety of styles to introduce you to the possibilities.  Of course, there are other series of attractive alphabet postcards not shown here - you will find a lot to like in this area of collecting!    Our personal favorite series is an alphabet of flowers signed by C. Klein (Catherine or Caterina - a German artist of great popularity for her nature designs).  We open this post with a forget-me-not letter B above, and we will have a second Klein alphabet letter further on. These cards are flat with lovely floral designs for each letter.

 On the left is a charming design of little children inside of roses on a colorful flat postcard forming the letter D. 

The languid pose of the lady on the right could be considered a bit risque for the period - she is dressed in a classical Greek-style toga dress with her hair pinned up, posing inside a 'wood' letter C on a little bridge in a woodland setting.  This is a flat postcard series using bentwood for all the letters.  Don't miss the sprigs of leaves still green on the letter.  Part of the fantasy appeal of this series is that the letters are created out of live branches. 

Below is a pretty little Angel holding a letter I on an alphabet series with superb artwork by Ellen Clapsaddle.  The postcards are embossed, with shining gold added.  On each of the letters, the background is the same blue-green with swirls that resemble clouds.

Real photo postcards with montages of fantasy images are one sub-set of alphabet postcards.  Here are two different examples, for the letters E and Z.  The top postcard is black and white, the bottom postcard has a sepia tint.  These combined images of glamorous women with little children have no tinting.

On the right is a sweet child inside a large letter Q surrounded by flowers.  She plays music and wears a soft pink chemise. These postcards are flat, characterized by lovely colors in delicate shades.
The letters are outlined in gold.

Here are two little girls holding up a big letter N on a French real photo postcard.  The children wear wonderful dresses and have fancy hair-dos. This picture is "vignetted" - in other words, the image gradually disappears at the bottom of the postcard.  This real photo postcard has delicate tinting with colors and hand-painted details on the girls' gowns. 

We close with another beautiful alphabet letter postcard signed by Catherine Klein - as in some of her alphabet designs, the flowers coordinate with the letters, so here are orchids for the letter O.  As always, her artwork is magnificent,  blending natural flowers and leaves with the formation of the letter. 

Price Estimates:  Alphabet postcards are a good buy recently, with the more commonly-available series priced at about $5 - $10 each.  The two most expensive series in this post are the Clapsaddle Angels and the Klein Flowers.  These will cost $20 each or more.  Remember that these estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

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