Friday, December 6, 2013
SANTA CLAUS with No Sleigh CHRISTMAS Postcards
When I began this blog several years ago I wrote about 'modern' Santa Claus postcards at the turn-of-the-century that showed our Christmas hero in what were then innovative modes of transportation. Of course, many of the earliest Santa Claus postcards show him walking - through snowy forests or along the empty nighttime streets of villages. He is still shown carrying his huge bag of toys, even when he's on foot, leaving us to wonder how he gets around the globe with just a staff to help him through the cold snowdrifts. This post shows him with some fun fantasy ways of getting to all the children of the world on other vehicles. Above Santa Claus uses a green dirigible to carry toys and evergreen trees on a beautifully embossed postcard postmarked in 1909.
Here the children meet Santa as he arrives on a little train, the kind that we might have seen at a playground or amusement park. Even though he looks too big for his vehicle, it does provide plenty of room for toy freight. Bright colors and rich embossing, postmarked 1911.
This is a cheery Santa on a rocking horse with a basket of toys instead of a sack. Charming design but his proud steed wouldn't take him very far. The postcard can be found in a silk-suit version as well. Although there is some writing on the divided back, it hasn't been postmarked. Some collectors during the Golden Age of collecting sent postcards to fellow collectors in envelopes to protect them from the damage the mails might inflict. This postcard, although nearly 100 years old, looks like it could have been printed yesterday.
Here is a more traditional view of Santa arriving in town on a donkey, a time-honored mode of transportation. He is accompanied by a solemn Angel who holds the donkey's bridle. Also embossed and with subtle colors, this fine image is from PFB publishers.
Santa Claus in a boat is an unusual image - here he is navigating through rapid waters, toys on board. The richly embossed design is highlighted with many shining silver details. A truly outstanding Santa Claus postcard, with a bit of writing on the divided back but not postmarked.
Automobiles were a popular way to portray Santa, and we have several auto related Christmas eve vehicles here. Above is a simple automobile, a bit like a box on wheels, with an Angel along for the ride. Nice embossing and gold details add to this image. Postmarked 1908.
Here is a more elaborate automobile with running board and upholstered seat. Santa Claus looks stern; perhaps he wishes the Angels having a snowball fight would settle down - he has a lot of work to do, and not much time! Published by Tuck, Series #C 304, this card has great embossing and bright gold added - the automobile is almost all gold. Some writing on the divided back but not postmarked.
Ultimately, the best form of transportation for a fellow who needs to circumnavigate the globe quickly with a weighty pack is to fly under his own super power, and here we see a postcard from a fantastic group of illustrations where he's doing just that - stepping down from the clouds when he needs to make a delivery. These postcards can be found with and without gold details. This is a plain one published by S&M of New York and Berlin with nice embossing. Writing on the divided back, but not postmarked.
PRICE ESTIMATES: All the postcards shown here are embossed with wonderfully colorful designs. These Santa Claus designs range in price from about $15 to $60 or more, the most expensive being the rare images of Santa in a boat and flying above the town. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.