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, May 13, 2012

Victorian Hands Theme Postcards


In this post we focus on the colorful variety of hands shown on antique postcards available for collectors.  These charming postcards are commonly available, inexpensive and look wonderfull when displayed.  The subject may be a simple friendship greeting, birtthday or holiday.  Some cards come without sentiment printed on the front and these are especially well suited to framing. 

In a nation of immigrants, many Americans had - and still have - relatives and friends many miles away.  These popular Hands-Across-the-Sea postcards were designed to make sure that distance did not sever loving connections.


Birthday greeting postcards are some of the most common postcards available - above are  birthday greetings with hands offering blossoms and clasped.   The shamrocks and red clover are symbols of good luck.


Here is an especially nice birthday greeting, with a gentleman holding out a bright bouquet to a lady.  His hand is reaching forth from a heart-shaped cluster of forget-me-nots, which also appear at the lower left.  The meaning of these flowers added symbolism to many antique postcard designs.


This unusual embossed hands-clasped greeting is made of celluloid.  The celluloid front was glued to a paper backing on which the postcard sections and stampbox were shown.  Made in Germany, with Fotocelere in the stampbox.   Here, too, beautiful blue forget-me-nots add color and symbolism of a lasting affection.


Rose collectors will find their favorite flower well-represented in the hand theme genre.  Here is one illustration of a huge rose design with nice embossing and a moire patterned background.


Violets and Lily-of-the-Valley blossoms combine on this vivid postcard where a lady is offered a paper-wrapped bouquet with an envelope...lovely detail and rich embossing add extra charm to this design.  As mentioned, the shamrocks offer good luck.


Our last image shows a flat postcard of a lady holding a posy of pansies (with the meaning of Thoughts, from the French 'pensees', another symbolic floral greeting)  on a gorgeous flat card with both gold and silver in the background.  This is an example of the postcards which look so fine when framed.  Underneath it we see another red rose design set against a soft pastel sky background. 


PRICE ESTIMATES:  Hand-themed postcards can still be collected for a few dollars each, online or at shows.  A visually-rich collection can be acquired at a very reasonable price.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

BUTTERFLY WOMEN on Early Postcards


Butterfly women are one of our favorite fantasy themes - they come in many types and represent a portion of the fantasy postcard genre that seems to bring out exceptional creativity in the publishers.  Above we begin with two printed and colored images taken from photographs of pretty ladies in abbreviated outfits.  Some of the pictures have been left in the original black and white, which serves to make the colored sections more vivid.  Love the antennae on the women's heads!


Here is a detail from the real photo postcard below.  Hand-tinting on the photograph adds to the charm of this early fantasy published by the Philadelphia Post Card Co. for an international market. 




One famous set of butterfly women from World War I shows the allies' flags as butterfly wings.  These women represent a number of countries.  Fine artwork and bright colors are hallmarks of this highly collectible series.  Here is the English butterfly:



Another butterfly woman without antennae appears in this tinted real photo postcard, printed in Saxony. 



We include an irresistible Dragon-fly woman in this group because she is so gorgeous and she fits in with the flying-insect fantasy group.  A real photo postcard with added artwork and coloring, this postcard has a Russian stamp and a divided back.  The postmark cannot be read.



The last pair of semi-nude Butterfly Women display art deco flair, brilliant colors with handpainted images against black backgrounds.  The surface of these postcards is matte and flat with an almost velvety feel.  



Price Estimates:  Butterfly women and other insect-creatures come in a wide variety of types.   We estimate a cost of about $15 - $50 for quality examples - remember, these estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.