We are always buying collections of postcards and photographs from before 1950 - email us at circa1910@tampabay.rr.com if you have a collection to sell!







Sunday, March 18, 2012

AIR FRANCE Travel Poster Style Advertising Postcards


Air France produced some vivid advertising poster-style postcards on matte paper with outstanding graphics.  In this post, we look at some of the vintage designs in the series.  There  are some more modern images in the Air France advertising postcards, too, but we will only show vintage images here.  Above are images for North and South America.


All the images in this post are divided back postcards with a small amount of advertising on the back and the information that the postcards are Printed in France.  Shown above are two images for Africa.  The postcards shown below have advertising urging us to visit various places, some in France and others around the world. 




The last image of elephants in tall grasses promotes travel to Africa with a dramatic illustration, one of our favorites.

PRICE ESTIMATES  These Air France travel designs have become more and more collectible in the past few years and prices now range from about $20.00 up - these are estimates for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Embossed BATHING BEAUTY Postcards 1907-1915

In this bathing beauty post, all the postcards are embossed and all are marked Made in Germany on the back.  Some were produced, as shown in our examples, with and without gold embellishment.  The colors are intense and the ladies always beautiful!  Above we see a woman using her binoculars to get a good view of activity at the seashore. 


In this lively image, the boat is gold in the second postcard and gold details have been added throughout the design, including on the red hat.   This assortment of bathing beauty postcards gives you a glimpse of the range of images available from serene scenes on the beach to tumultuous moments in the waves.  In the pair of postcards below, note that the gold-added image at the bottom also has gold 'grass' added to the lower edge of the image.


The flirtatious couple above is an example of silk-added bathing beauty postcards with lilac fabric added to the lady's suit and hat bow.  The card is richly embossed with the fabric showing the embossing, too.

The playful women on the left are decorated with gold details.  Bathing beauty postcards show women friends enjoying the beach together and couples meeting and flirting.
A few series, like Tuck publishers' Greetings from the Seaside, (see our post) include images of children.  However, this is not the most commonly available theme.  Generally, the emphasis is on the risque ladies in abbreviated attire.  Sometimes the bathing suits shown are very revealing indeed, compared to the dresses women usually wore.
One of the pleasures of collecting old postcards is learning about life in a previous era.  Here we see a lady leaving a wheeled cabin, designed for women to change into their bathing suits in privacy and then slip modestly below the water.  How this combined with women in revealing suits lounging on the beach, we cannot say.

Here is a combination of two of our favorite postcard themes - bathing beauties with a camera.  Lots of nice shining gold has been applied to this design.  Don't miss the cut-outs on the blue bathing suit showing some tempting thigh.   Pretty sexy for any fashion period!

We close with a pair of bathing beauties in long-skirted swimsuits and leg-covering tights - for the comparison between day-wear and beach-wear, look at the lady in the background.   

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Bathing beauty postcards from this period, divided backs from 1907-1915, come in embossed and flat versions.  As shown here, some have gold added and some do not.  The more elaborate the postcard, the higher the price.  These postcards are usually available from $10 - $15 each, although images with cameras frequently cost more.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Tuck GREETINGS from the SEASIDE Bathing Beauties Series 116


Here's a brief post to introduce you to Tuck Series 116, a whimsical, playful Seaside series with images of bathing beauties, children and even the family dog.  These postcards are embossed and have divided backs.






PRICE ESTIMATES:  Expect to pay between $10 - $20 for Greetings from the Seaside postcards.  This estimate is for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and it is only an estimate.  

BATHING BEAUTIES on Early Postcards 1901-1907

We love bathing beauty postcards and have collected several kinds.  In this post, the illustrations are all early undivided-back postcards dating from 1901 - 1907.  Each has a plain area on the front for the sender to write a message, since only the address was allowed on the back at that time. 


The bathing beauties in this post are all on flat postcards.  The three above were published by M.M. Vienne, Series 205.

Some bathing beauty postcards that were originally designed during the early undivided back period were still available after the divided back period began which allowed senders to write their message on the left side of the back of the postcard.  What to do about the white area of the design on the front?  Hildesheimer Publishers in London and an un-named publisher in Germany used the following solution.




A German-published postcard designed for worldwide distribution is shown to the right, with a lovely bathing beauty communing with a butterfly.   Although this postcard is an early undivided back, there is minimal white space on the front where the sender can add a message.  Perhaps this is why we sometimes find early undivided postcards with writing all over the front, including on top of the design.  Some believe that writing on the front does not detract from the value of an undivided back postcard.  We prefer to purchase postcards where the design is clear and untouched, because we collect postcards for their images!

PRICE ESTIMATES:  The postcards shown in this post were purchased for $8 - $32.  It's hard to estimate bathing beauty postcard prices because they are so variable.  If you want to collect bathing beauties, be sure to see the additional posts on other types of bathing beauty designs, to help you choose your own favorites.  Collecting is a combination of fun and investing.  You will become most knowledgeable about what interests you most!   

Monday, March 12, 2012

Camera & Photographer Theme Postcards Real & Fantasy

In our first camera-theme post, we focused on advertising for Kodak and other photo services.  Here we explore some of the other camera and photographer theme postcards that might appeal to you.  This is a fun category to collect (even if you didn't grow up in a photographer's family like I did) and there is a wide variety of images.  Above, we see the theme used to add flair to a view of Mt. Sugar Loaf.  A Victorian lady with a Gibson-Girl hairdo holds a bulb attached to her giant camera.


Bathing beauties are a much-loved collectable theme, and there are enough images of lovely ladies at the beach with photographers close-by that you could assemble an entire collection of these postcards alone.



Here we see two postcards of actual persons with cameras - another large category in the camera genre.  On the left is a real photo candid postcard of a fellow with his camera on a tripod, and on the right is a professionally-made real photo postcard of a pretty lady holding her camera.  She may have been an actress of the time, although this postcard does not identify her. 

In the fantasy category, animals take photographs, too.  This is an early undivided back postcard of a handsome dog with his camera at the dock.  There is a space provided on the front for the sender to write a message as only the address was allowed on the back. 

There are several popular Easter images of rabbits taking photographs, or of children
photographing the rabbits.  








Below is a Mainzer-published fantasy image of a cat-run photographic studio.  As in all these very colorful images, chaos reigns!


Above is a pretty camera-theme greeting where the camera and tripod are decorated with that much-loved blue flower, the forget-me-not.  This is a gel card.


Turn-of-the-century postcards reveled in puns - here is a great pun on a photography theme.  Our fellow has taken a wrong step in the darkroom, as you can see.
Most of us are familiar with "Say CHEESE," the phrase the photographer uses to get the subject to smile. An earlier phrase was the gentle "Look Pleasant!" Here is a postcard with a black background that makes for vivid color on this photographer reminding us to put on a good, photo-worthy expression.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Camera and photographer postcards have increased in value the past two years.  Most of our collection we acquired before the rise in prices.  Shop the online auctions carefully and you can still find great postcards at prices from $15 - $35.  There will be images, especially of photographers in their studios, that go well over $100.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and they are only estimates.




Sunday, March 11, 2012

Camera Theme Postcards KODAK GIRLS & Other Advertising


There are so many types of old postcard that fit into the Camera or Photographer themes that it will take two posts to show them.  This post is dedicated to advertising postcards, including the very popular Kodak Girls.  We'll show several of these beauties urging folks to take their Kodak camera on vacation with them.  Above is a multiview Kodak Girl, supposedly showing scenes from her vacation with the classic postcard message in the center, Wish You Were Here.

Here "Bess" offers a picture of herself with her camera and a promise to share "no end of good pictures" when she returns.  Each Kodak Girl was pretty and came with a friendly message.  And each was an avid shutter-bug, of course!

This Kodak Girl sends a message signed "Jane" and she urges the recipient "be sure to bring your Kodak"...it's interesting that these postcards were so popular considering how blatant the Kodak advertising was.  Perhaps people saved them because the Girls were  attractive, or perhaps because this was the age in which the hobby of photography was becoming almost a craze, at least for the folks who could afford a camera.  These are all real photo postcards, and some were sent out with advertising from a local camera shop on the back.
Kodak Girl "Peggy" is sepia tone.  There is a message printed in the correspondence area on the back in script lettering promoting "Your own vacation fun will be doubled if you take along a Kodak..." and promising "No dark room, you know.  Let us show you. Harr, Duer & Harr, Troy, Ohio."  It is postmarked 1911. 

There's a wide variety of advertising postcards for cameras, photographers, and photo services. Here are a couple of somewhat newer postcards, both real photo postcards.  E-fect Slides offers fancy frames as shown to enhance your photographs.  This is postmarked 1949.


Here is a more modern pretty lady with a photo theme, from the Atlas Photo Company.  The message area on the back is printed with a price list and the postcard is postmarked 1954.



Below is a different kind of advertising postcard with an April 1923 calendar page and a smiling woman in a straw hat posed beside a waterfall.  At the top, we see Kelly and Green's ad for Expert Kodak Finishing.  There is a hole already provided for the recipient to hang this calendar postcard.


PRICE ESTIMATES:  Kodak Girl postcards range in price from about $30 - $60 and may be more at shows.  The other postcards in this post cost us between $8 and $20, collected over a 10-year period.   Camera and photographer theme postcards have become more popular in the last couple of years, and the prices we paid in the past may not always be available now.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

PFB EASTER Postcards - Rich Embossing & Gorgeous Colors

In this post, we look at one type of Easter postcard published by Paul Finkenrath Berlin, also known as PFB.  All the postcards published by PFB show good artwork and fine printing, and there are some dramatic Easter designs with simple designs set against dark backgrounds that really make the images extra-vivid.  However, this post focuses on the elaborate detailed designs that show off PFB's fine printing capability.  We open with a fantasy image of a child driving a lamb-drawn Easter egg cart through a country scene.  Not only does the meadow have subtle color gradations of grass, earth and flowers, but the sky is a glorious soft aqua blue with fantastic realistic clouds floating above our image.  PFB's clouds are spectacular -  some lit with delicate sun ray colors and some shadowed with soft pastel grey.  The embossing on these postcards is just as superb, featuring fine detail rarely found from other publishers.



Above, a little girl leads her sheep down a country path, pulling a flower-decorated cart with a huge coral-colored egg.  The child's white dress is not only embossed, but also embellished with tiny gold decorations.

Fantasy images for Easter from PFB often include children with huge eggs; in the postcard below, two children are seated inside a big pink egg, accompanied by a curious lamb.  Note the pink clouds and the unusually complex detail in the tree leaves and branches.
Even the floral garlands have beautifully drawn leaves and flowers. 



Here is an image of a little girl - once again dressed in European country garb like the children in the pink egg.  This time she is shown with a silver surround, the main image in a sunrise oval vignette.  She carries a lamb on her shoulders and pink blossoms provide a colorful Spring touch at the bottom of the egg-shaped image.  The colors nearly 'glow.'

These children have found a huge egg that brother carries and a huge rooster to match...the scale is a little startling as the rooster is actually larger than little sister who is seated in a rustic wooden cart.  Brother is either hailing or teasing the rooster.  Still, the general air is cheerful!

The sky in the pretty image above is an unusual deep turquoise with ragged rose pink clouds.  The children wear country garb, standing beside some fantastically big pussy willow stems.  Their lamb stands with them.  Note the detail in the wooden gate and in the greenery at their feet.

The last example of PFB Easter designs in this post is one of our favorites, from a series of children in bird's nests.  In this image, the children are singing beneath the pastel pink flowering branches of a tree with birds joining in the Easter chorus.  Exquisite details, rich embossing and superior artistry light up this design. 


Price Estimates:  PFB postcards vary in price depending on rarity, condition, design and where you find them.  There are quite a lot of PFB postcards available, so they must have been popular when they were first published.  The Easter postcards shown in this post range in price from about $10  -  $20.  They are often more expensive at postcard shows.  Sometimes you can find them in lots, which reduces the price per card.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition (a couple of our illustrations in this post have cancellation marks on the front which reduces the value) and they are only estimates.