Wednesday, November 26, 2014
NISTER CHRISTMAS Postcards
Ernest Nister (1842-1909) is best known for the beautiful children's books his company published in Nuremberg and London in the late 1890s. With intriguing novelty "moving pictures" these books were a popular way to delight children - reproductions of these are available today and would still make a memorable present!
In this post, we take a look at some of the Christmas designs published by Nister on postcards. Nister postcards are flat, using quality illustrations to define the Nister brand. Sometimes embellished with calligraphic sentiments, Nister postcards for various holidays (some wonderful Valentines) may be recognized by the lettering added to the design.
We open with a signed Albertine Randall Wheelan design showing a lady in a magnificent red cloak surrounded by little birds. As with all the postcards shown in this post, it has a divided back.
Here is a very different sort of Christmas image, unsigned, with friends out in a snowy landscape. Delicate colors contrast with the bright holly. A number of Nister postcards show images that were originally used in Nister children's books. This may be one of them - also see the last postcard in this post for another image likely re-published from a book.
This elaborate and rather formal design, with the calligraphic poem below, seems to be part of a series of historical Christmas images. It is titled Under the Mistletoe - 1750 and is signed with initials TBS at lower left. This artist is not identified in my Artist-Signed Postcard Guide by Mashburn.
This adorable little girl in holiday red is holding a sprig of mistletoe, which goes nicely with the poetic caption. Both the image and the poem are signed EHD, Ethel DeWees, who is well-known to postcard collectors for her many sweet child designs.
Here are two signed C.E. Brock images with calligraphic quotes for captions. They are numbered on the back 2633 and 2635. Similar in color selection and design, they are some of my favorite Nister Christmas designs - the people are each individuals and the faces are beautifully drawn. The postcard on the right was postmarked 1913.
These pretty young girls out ice-skating on a snowy day with hats, a scarf and a fur muff may have originally appeared in a Nister book - the addition of a holly decoration and caption create a Christmas postcard. Lovely unsigned artwork with strong colors and a lively image.