We are always buying postcards and photos from before 1950 - email us at circa1910@tampabay.rr.com.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

St. Patrick's Day People Postcards

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th this year - and while there are many vivid green St. Patrick's Day antique postcards, we are focusing in this post on the designs that include people.  We have examples from some top publishers, all embossed.  The postcard of a beautiful lady above is published by Raphael Tuck of Great Britain.  The lady wears a red bow and a leafy crown in her hair, and holds shamrocks - symbol of Ireland and of Good Luck.  It is postmarked 1909 from Washington, D.C. 

This postcard includes some classic design elements for the St. Patrick's Day holiday - a view of Ireland, a clay pipe, a golden harp and - again - a cluster of shamrocks.  Frequently, these elements are the central design on a St. Patrick's Day postcard, but in this design they serve in combination with a pretty woman dressed in an old-fashioned outfit with a bonnet, all in green.

Here is an unusual fantasy design with a little blonde girl's face inside a giant shamrock, from The Irish Store, New York.  The design is embossed while the lettering is flat.  This postcard says Carta Posta on an early undivided back, "The address only to be written on this side" as was the norm from 1901 - 1907.    Below is a portrait of St. Patrick, inside a green shamrock (with just three leaves) flanked by the Irish and American flags.  The design is by Lounsbury, with the notation beneath the U.S. flag.   

This design combines a St. Patrick's Day motif with the connection between the Old Country and the New - Ireland and the United States.  Gold embellishment is added to the harp, and the flag staffs and tassles. 

On the right, we see a gentleman dressed in traditional garb, with his high boots and hat and a green coat.  This design has some of the classic elements noted above - this time the harp is shown in silver, with a Good Luck horseshoe and lots of green shamrocks.  The greeting is Top o' the Mornin' and there are silver accents all through the embossed image.
Ellen H. Clapsaddle, a favored artist among collectors, designed a number of lively St. Patrick's Day postcards with people in them - pretty ladies, dapper gentlemen and cheerful children.  Here is a little girl, perched on a chair in her holiday green, with shamrocks pinned to her scarf.  The Wearing of the Green is the sentiment, a classic Irish addition to many St. Patrick's Day postcards.  This image of a happy child is unsigned, but we have included a signed Ellen Clapsaddle design below which may or may not have been intended as a St. Patrick's Day design.  With the green automobile and blown-back umbrella, and two of the riders wearing green hats, we like to think it was. 
Our last St. Patrick's design is published by John Winsch with artwork by Samuel Schmucker - this glamorous lady wears a fancy green and white outfit and stands before a giant shamrock set against a textured gold panel in the background.  In front of the shamrock are crossed clay pipes, all surrounded by art nouveau styled swirls.  The lettering, somewhat hard to read, is in gold at the bottom right and says St. Patrick's Day Greetings with the very elaborate first letters that John Winsch often used.  Schmucker designed a number of fine St. Patrick's Day postcards that were published by Winsch, some of them with opening booklets.

Price EstimatesSt. Patrick's Day postcards with people in them are usually a bit more expensive than the designs that simply combine Irish symbols or scenes.  The ones shown here range from about $8.00 up to about $15.00, with the more unusual designs commanding higher prices.  For the Ellen H. Clapsaddle collector, there are many of her over 2,000 postcard designs still available in good condition, and you may find a St. Patrick's Day card for a great price with careful watching and bidding.  The most expensive card shown in this post is the Schmucker design - it can cost as much as $50.00 in eBay stores or at postcard shows.  These estimates are for cards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates of current prices.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Curt Teich Risque Linen Postcards

Curt Teich linens are well known for their bright colors and high-impact designs, especially the Large Letter Greeting postcards and the delightful risque designs of ladies in lingerie with flirtatious and sexy puns in the captions.  

In this post, we look at three styles of risque linen postcards published by Curt Teich.  The first series has rhyming captions and women in brief attire.  We especially like the art deco furniture that provides the props for these lounging lovelies.  Above we see a woman relaxing on an overstuffed art deco blue chair.  Our next entry shows a woman in a very sheer outfit - barely there - on a fine art deco chair in brilliant red.  She's holding a paper fan, and the poetry says I'm revealing to you how hot I can get, It takes more than a fan to cool off - my pet.
The redhead is putting out her cigarette (everybody smoked in those days) in an ashtry on a dramatic chrome art deco table.  Her poem advises: One thing every girl should know is just how far she oughta go. 

This woman putting on her stockings makes it clear that she's no tease.  Her caption reads:  I don't hold out and I don't stall.  Don't take me long at all, at all.  Write me, too!

Another style of Curt Teich risque linens is captioned with short puns - the artwork is quite different with a stylized charm and art deco patterns adding visual appeal.  Again, great bright colors light up these designs.

Our last Curt Teich series features silhouettes of nudes and nearly-nudes.  Suggestive captions or poetry complete the risque style on these eye-catching  designs. 

The poem on this postcard of a lady at her dressing table, watched by her parrot, is Aye! 'tis a sight to feast the eye And I'm not talking back!  'Cause polly wants a cracker But he doesn't want a crack.

This post only focuses on one of the Curt Teich linen specialties.  If you are interested in Curt Teich postcards, you may want to check out the long history of Curt Teich publishing and learn the complex way the company dated their images.  Go to:    http://www.lcfpd.org/docs/teich_guide_dating.pdf for more information.

Price Estimates:  These fun and colorful risque designs have increased in price over the past few years.  They are now available for about $8 - $15.00, although sometimes you will find them priced higher.  If you like them, we suggest you purchase now, as the price does not seem to have reached its top yet.  These estimates are for cards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

World War II Airplanes KEEP 'EM FLYING!

A patriotic slogan during World War II, "Keep 'em Flying" encouraged civilians to donate to the war effort - the catch-phrase was shorthand for winning the war in the air, and appeared on a variety of brightly-colored linen postcards and, as shown in this post, at least one mutoscope arcade card.

The public liked to be able to identify the airplanes involved in the war effort. A number of Keep 'em Flying designs were published to help collectors identify war planes - here we see the Lightning Interceptor and Dive Bomber

Here is an image from the back of the postcard on the left showing the silhouette of the plane, the Vultee-66.This postcard, with the silhouette on the back, was published by Longshaw Card Co. of Los Angeles, California.  The Lightning Interceptor and Dive Bomber were published by Curt Teich.  Teich publishing created the generic card below, which appears with various captions at the bottom identifying different locations around the U.S.  On this version, the bottom caption is: Greetings from Randolph Field, Kelly Field and Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas.
  Curt Teich also published the Bomber in the sunrise sky shown here, as well as these two risque-themed Keep 'em Flying postcards from a series that combines pretty women, airplanes and flirtatious puns.
 A Keep 'em Flying mutoscope arcade card from the period shows a young woman on a blue background, her short skirt flying up in the breeze to reveal the tops of her stockings as she swings...here the link between the girls back home and the war effort is front and center.  

A 1941 copyrighted Tichnor publishers design combines the American Eagle, planes in formation and a bright red V for Victory in our last example -  a great poster-style design in the Keep 'em Flying collection.         
Price Estimates:  Prices are increasing on all colorful, interesting linen postcards and these are no exception.  While it's still possible to find some at a few dollars, it's now more common to pay $5.00 - $12.00 for examples in top quality condition.  So, if you like the Keep 'em Flying designs, buy now.  These prices are for excellent condition postcards, and they are only an estimate.

Valentine CUPIDS

Valentines come in many forms; this post shows some Cupids as illustrated on turn-of-the-century Valentine postcards.  Our little love-cherub is portrayed in three different roles here.   Hard-working Cupid tries to mend hearts, forge them, stitch them, catch them as they drift away on the wind or warm them up.  Confidante Cupid is shown with pretty ladies, whispering romance wisdom in their ears, or trying to get couples together.   Classic Cupids are showcased in pretty settings, equipped with their traditional Valentine's Day tools - a bow and quiver of arrows.   The Cupid on a gold background inside a circlet of roses above is a Classic Cupid.

Here we have two Hard-working Cupid postcards from the same set, decorated with a swag pinned at each corner of the top edge with fringed silky bows.  Above, Cupid puts down his bow to mend a big red heart with bandages - a lot are required to hold the broken heart together...on the right, Cupid holds a frozen heart above a warming fire - his arrow is in the brazier and perhaps even creating the flames...magical powers to melt the coldest heart!

In this design, Cupid is dressed as a clerk, wearing spectacles and a cap, weighing hearts for a little angel who has brought them in for measuring.  The background is especially nice, with wooden drawers and cupboard, and a wood counter.  We don't see Cupid's bow and arrows in this image, which brings up a question on Valentine artwork:  How do we differentiate Cupid from Angels on Valentines?  Some folks called all winged wonders "Cupid" but this card illustrates why that causes confusion.  Isn't Cupid an individual?  If so, what are we to make of this design?  My theory is that Cupid is usually identified by his bow and arrows - however, he can also be identified by his position of power, authority and responsibility, as in this antique Valentine postcard. 

A different kind of Hard-working Cupid writes a poetic message on the blackboard, educating lovers about the joys of romance.  This card has Cupid 'dressed' for work with his quiver of arrows but no clothing.  The colors are very vivid, and the addition of the forget-me-nots adds both bright blue and a symbol of the desire for undying affection.

Cupid as Confidante is one of the prettiest styles of postcard Valentines.  In this post, we have three examples.  This is an opportunity for Cupid to show off his flirtatious and mischievous side - he does like the ladies! 
Price Estimates:  Prices on the Valentines shown, all of which are embossed, are quite modest.  Any can be acquired for $3.00 - $10.00 at eBay bidding or postcard shows.  For some reason, perhaps because their original popularity means there are a lot of them, Valentines seem to be undervalued.  Artwork on Valentine postcards can be elaborate and elegant.  The one of Cupid with the pretty lady on the left, for instance, is embellished with lots of shining gold highlights and has very detailed embossing.  Today's low prices give you the freedom to be selective about which Valentines to add to your collection - there are some fine bargains to be had!