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

Sunday, October 7, 2012

ART Imitates LIFE Postcards of RPPC Models

Collecting antique postcards invites us into a world of puzzles.  The pirated designs from popular artists like Ellen Clapsaddle, Frances Brundage, Marie Flatscher and Samuel Schmucker is just one oddity.  Stolen designs most often show up on no-name publisher postcards, in slightly blurry-edged copies, smaller motifs, and in flat or pared-down versions of the originals.  We previously offered a post on linen postcards that were generic images of streams, woods or waterfalls later imprinted with the name of the buyer's location. Also, although we have not written a post about it, many early printed postcards had details like the moon, birds, automobiles drawn into the original photo image.  In this post, we address the scarcer habit of cashing in on the success of certain real photo postcard models by incorporating their images into artwork for other postcards.  Here are two we have noticed.

  We begin with three real photo postcards of a very popular young girl - then and now - with an especially lovely face and a gentlle expression.  One opens our post and there are two below.  You may recognize her - postcards of her have gone up sharply in price until they sometimes sell for $50 or more.  There are some passionate collectors of this girl!  

And here she is rendered by an artist on a pretty embossed Christmas postcard without a publisher designation:

You may also recognize this next  pretty young woman who usually appears with her lips parted - her image graces so many real photo postcards that she really should have a category all her own:

And here is a drawing of her on a bright embossed Valentine's postcard from International Art Publishers.  We have seen this series attributed to Ellen Clapsaddle, but the designs are unsigned.

Finally, here is a real photo postcard of the two very popular models together:

We have not yet seen an artistic interpretation of them together.  Perhaps one will appear in future.  If so, we'll let you know.

   Do you have a favorite postcard-related puzzle?  We'd love to hear about it if you do! 

PRICE ESTIMATESPrices for these real photo postcards are highest, at the moment, for unusual poses of the little girl with light hair.  Her postcards range from about $10 to $50 or more.  Real photo postcards of the young woman range from about $8 - $15.  The two artistic renderings of their image were purchased for $8 and $10. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.


  1. Are these two always pictured on American postcards or were they international?

  2. Hi Christine - we have seen them on both German and French postcards, but not U.S. Best wishes, Toni