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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Erotic Antique Postcards

There are many types of erotic antique postcards from sweet nudes to graphic and prurient photos (the euphemisms, "not airbrushed" or "unretouched" mean pubic hair is visible) and everything in-between.  Above are two restrained erotic images, a partial nude wearing a sheer wrap with delicate tinting, and a colorful image of a dancer by Gayac signed by the artist at the lower right.

In this post, we take a look at some of the visual puns, witty tongue-in-cheek erotic postcards published in the early 1900s in Europe.  These are all flat images.

Here are two postcards from Germany showing ladies enjoying the mud baths at Moorbad, about to be rinsed off by a woman who works at the baths.  The mud - and the splashes - are strategically placed.

This German postcard shows what I heard one dealer call "the butt band"...blushing buttocks stand in for rosy cheeks on these musicians.   Below we see a real photo postcard of a woman beside an enormous mushroom offering the viewer a phallic symbol with a sweet smile.  This postcard, and the next one, both appear in the book Erotic Postcards by William Ouellette and Barbara Jones.


This image of a mushroom is accompanied by a long French caption, heavy on the puns. 
 "Do You Want Good Health?
Avoid mushrooms!  The most dangerous is that known by the name: Black Forest Mushroom.  While it is very pleasant to the taste  it produces a swelling of the belly and shortly afterwards causes terrible pains in the region of the lower abdomen.  Don't trust mushrooms!"

In the French food-is-sexy genre, we have two 1920s entries.  These are real photo postcards of drawings of women with phallic edibles.  The first is titled How to Eat a Biscuit.  The second is titled How to Enjoy a Banana.

We finish with an older postcard, signed by the artist Mouton at bottom left, showing a lady enjoying asparagus.  Apparently, this meal is enhanced by removing some clothing. 

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Erotic postcards of this type are less common than simple nudes which are easily found.    Moorbad Mud Bath images can be found for $10 - $20 (with some signed by Thiele a bit higher).  The cards with unusual phallic images generally cost between $25 - $50 each.  The last image, signed by Mouton, may cost more.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Love & Marriage on Antique Postcards HER View

Marriage could disappoint a woman in a variety of ways - here is the most common complaint on antique postcards.  The attentive suitor has turned into the absent spouse, most often  found down at the local bar having an evening out with his friends while the wife is at home.  This version of a classic marital situation is illustrated and signed by artist Fred Spurgin.

Not only might a Victorian girl wish she were a man so she could sit and read the paper, but for other reasons of freedom.  There were few sources of income open to women 100 years ago, and most women married expecting to have the resources to raise children.  Marrying didn't always solve financial problems, however, and the wife sneaking money from her unwitting husband was a staple image on marriage postcards as seen below.

 The old adage about  a woman's work never being done could lead a woman to feel she had made a difficult bargain.  Cupid is shown by the laundry tub, showing how romance led to her predicament.

And a husband might expect to manage every expenditure.  This cycle - of the husband's penury and the wife's "taking a little change" - was a source of frustration.  Below is a solution not every woman could afford.  A happy single woman watches the angry husband demand Where's that nickel I gave you yesterday?

The above postcard illustrates an age-old problem we still have not solved...and points out just one of the ways that antique postcards differ from modern cards.  The topics we can find on antique postcards cover social issues never seen in the cheery greetings available now. 

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Marriage postcards can be found for a few dollars each and they are plentiful.  Unusual images may cost more.  This estimate is for postcards in EXCELLENT condition and it is only an estimate. 

Love & Marriage on Antique Postcards HIS View

The Victorians were very romantic as seen in the wide variety of romantic postcards - sweet, sexy and humorous - available.  Some love-and-romance images were real photo postcards, some printed from photographs and some artist-drawn. The sentiments were sometimes intense - more romantic than anything Hallmark has to offer today.  However, when it came to marriage, our grandparents and their parents were more practical - and more ambivalent.  

In this post, we look at the man's side of things...above are two postcards pointing out what a man was desperately seeking in a wife - domestic services - in addition to sex and romance.

Men pictured doing laundry and attempting to cook for themselves were common illustrations of why a wife was needed.  These postcards are plentiful.

However, even getting married didn't guarantee a fellow got the level of services he wanted, as witness the above postcard.  Not only is he still trying to cook for himself, he has undarned socks and a baby to care for.  That last burden appears in many disgruntled-husband postcards, sometimes with a suffragette theme about the poor husband/father being henpecked by a dominant spouse, being left home by his newly liberated wife or their roles being switched.

This caption above says  Puzzle:  Find his Mother.  Other anti-suffrage postcards ask, Where is my wife?   

This harried father wishes he was safely at work.  The father-of-six below seems unsure of how he ended up that way.

All in all, the trials of marriage and fatherhood could leave a fellow longing for his single days as shown in the postcard below.  Interesting that the image shows him not carousing, but drinking at a bar alone.

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Marriage related postcards cost just a few dollars each and they are plentiful.  Those that  include suffrage or women's rights themes can cost more - up to $20 each.  In our next post, we will examine the married state from the woman's point of view.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Marie Flatscher CHILDREN Postcards Meissner & Buch

In a previous post, we looked at the fine artwork of Marie Flatscher as published by PFB on embossed postcards.  The postcards we show here are all flat images published by Meissner & Buch.  Somewhat harder to find, these postcards illustrate Marie Flatscher's remarkable artistry in creating individual children with distinctive expressions.  Her designs show us happy moments from childhood with playful scenes often incorporating animals or dolls in the children's play.  The postcards I have selected for this post have no sentiment, which makes them open to the sender's message no matter what the occasion (and ideal for framing.)  

A little girl and her cat keep a close watch on a mouse in a cage. Flatscher was talented at showing cats and dogs with both accuracy and personality.  

Here a little girl plays with her dolls which are animated in her imagination and - perhaps! - in her nursery, too.

Dachshunds feature prominently in Marie Flatscher's postcards.  Here one takes a drink from Baby's bottle while a passel of spotted puppies watch the family's activities.  In the right lower corner is the jester doll that Flatscher frequently included in her designs.

In this design, Big Sister has a book tucked under her arm and it looks as though she has lined everyone up for lessons, from Baby Sister and the dachshund to kittens and dolls, too.  The solid color backgrounds on many of the Meissner & Buch postcards serve to set off the bright colors beautifully.

Two images of children with their pets.  In one, a light grey kitten watches a little girl blowing bubbles.  In the second postcard, the girls escape the reach of dachshund puppies by standing on a chair.   Below is an extra-lively design of kittens with their little mistress...she has given each of them a bow.  Obviously a cat-lover, she doesn't seem to mind becoming a climbing tree for her pets.

A soft-colored woodland background adds depth to this pretty image of a mother and her little girl with three playful puppies.  The dogs in this picture have bows, too...the pets in Marie Flatscher's designs seem as well cared-for and cheerful as the children.  

PRICE ESTIMATES:  Marie Flatscher's designs published by Meissner & Buch are harder to find in the U.S. and are priced higher than the more available PFB designs.  Postcards shown in this post cost us up to $40 each, and some were bought over a decade ago.  Prices on these lovely images keep increasing, so start collecting Marie Flatscher images now if you enjoy her artwork.  We anticipate prices for all her postcards will continue to grow as she becomes better recognized.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.

Vintage U.S. MAP Postcards

An interest in map postcards opens a large category for the collector; we have seen maps of sites in famous authors' or presidents' lives, subway maps from around the world and many more.  In this post, we focus on maps showing U.S. locations with selected themes.  Our first postcard is a linen  showing Southern California Romantic Highways with small images of sights along the way.  There are ships in the water and a Senorita in Mexico. 

Here is a linen Florida state map with a bathing beauty perched on a Florida scroll, shaded by a red and white beach umbrella.  In small letters we see Curt Teich & Co. on the scroll also.  Like many maps (including those we had to create for junior high homework) the map is illustrated with little pictures.  In this case, there are ships, bathing beauties, industry, Seminole Indians, the State Capitol and many tiny palm trees!

This linen postcard covers a wider area - the Sunshine Belt with a smiling sun in the upper right corner.  Celebrating warm states, there are circular images of regional sights the tourist might encounter.  Great colors and fun images make this an appealing linen map.

Here is a road map for the Norfolk-Portsmouth Bridge Tunnel Route with an inset picture at upper left showing old automobiles in the tunnel.  This is a Curt Teich linen with a descriptive paragraph on the back.

Larger illustrations grace this linen map postcard from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and the route is surrounded by a patchwork of smaller images, including a racetrack,  that highlight the charms of the area.   

A postcard designed to be sent home by travelers says at the top Where are you? Mark the spot and mail to a friend.  At the bottom is printed Scenes on an Auto Trip Around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.   

Travel maps can be a good way to record your adventures.  Here is a GULF OIL map for those who took long driving vacations when gas was cheaper...

If you preferred to travel by train, the Santa Fe Railroad teamed up with Rand McNally to produce the following map postcard with encouragement to mark with an X where the traveler had stayed that day.  There are deltiologists who collect "X marks the spot" postcards.

Our last entry in the map postcards post is a wonderful linen postcard for world travelers who used the airlines, Scandinavian Air Lines in this case, to traverse the globe.  Here each country is decorated with colorful images of its best-known tourist attractions.

PRICE ESTIMATES:   Map postcards are not expensive and they make an eye-catching and historically interesting collection.  The cards in this post can be purchased from about $3.00 to $6.00 each and they are readily available.  These estimates are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.