Friday, October 3, 2014
Antique FADE AWAY Postcards
Fade away (fadeaway) postcard designs combine background colors with images to create an inventive picture that challenges the viewer to look closely. This is a fun fool-the-eye element that adds interest to holiday and greeting postcards from the early 1900s.
Our opening image is a Gibson Art-published divided back flat Christmas postcard where Santa Claus has a suit that blends into the background. Gibson Art also published the fine image below of a lady driving a red automobile on a red background. Check the area near the steering wheel, where the image of her arm fades into the red background. Both of these postcards were postmarked 1913.
Below is an example from one of my favorite series of fade away postcards, published by Stecher, with lovely little girls holding Easter rabbits and chicks. The background is a gorgeous violet color and the fade away design is significant, with the girls' outfits completely blended into the background. Light embossing adds to the charm of these divided back postcards.
A different sort of fade away design is evident on the glamorous art deco image below of a woman in black stockings and a chemise that matches the background, An artist-signed Italian postcard with divided back flat image, the smoke from her cigarette creates the caption. Elegant and spare, this is a classy risque design in the fade away style.
Another Gibson Art Christmas postcard adds a whimsical cherub on a mailbox with children sending holiday wishes. A divided back flat design, the little girl in white has a winter coat and boots that fade into the snowy background. Note the footstep marks in the snow - a subtle touch added to a bright postcard.
The following three fade away designs are by a famed artist of the genre, Coles Phillips, who early on signed his work C. Coles Phillips and later dropped the initial C. His artwork could be found on advertisements and postcards, frequently featuring lovely women with significant fade away elements. A well-regarded artist among collectors, the sophistication of his images makes his postcards very popular.
The last image here called PALS by Phillips has a design and color palette that predates Bev Doolittle's modern fade away prints. In her Hide and Seek Cameo series, brown and white horses fade into a background of rocks, earth and snow with a similar combination of colors. Her beautiful prints can be seen on the internet.
PRICE ESTIMATES: Prices for fade away postcards range from about $6 - $25 for the Stecher and Gibson Art designs and about $35 - $60 for the artist-signed Coles Phillips & Italian postcards. These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and they are only estimates.