A good example of these early blue toned card undivided back issues where the front image is restricted to one corner of the front, which is of course how it had to be when you had to write your message on the front side as only the recipient’s name and address was allowed to be applied on the other side. Issued around 1900, these cards have their place in the postcard story and are examples of early photographic topographical postcards. Having said all this, and fully admitting my own interest in these, they are often quite cheap to pick up and only have monetary value depending on the scarcity of the location depicted. This particular card was a recent acquisition from a 10p box (and has a pencilled price written on the back of 30p, so was never considered to be a valuable card) and although the location has no meaning to me, I am, as you know, fascinated with postcard history and look out for printing types, card stock varieties and colours and cards which fit into the ongoing story of the ‘Postcard’.
But, for those who are interested this cathedral is in the parish of Llandaff in Cardiff, Wales and is the seat of the head of the Church of Wales (the Bishop of Llandaff). The cathedral was first founded in 1120 and was built on the site of an earlier church. Severe damage was caused to the church in 1400 when there was the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr during the English Civil War. The damage was caused by the Parliamentarian troops when they overran the area. Further damage was caused by various storms over the years, and they considered removing it, but in the end a new cathedral was commenced building in 1734. The cathedral has had an interesting history and was even badly damaged during the second world war when the roof of the nave was blown off by a parachute bomb.
BY ALL MEANS POP ROUND DARLING –
I’VE NOTHING MUCH ON TO-NIGHT
Many different versions of the ‘Nothing Much On Tonight’ cartoon were issued over the years as it was a popular ‘seaside humour’ styled joke. All of the designs, by all the different artists who did it, depict a female in her underwear, or in at least one case wearing nothing at all which is a good example of how the boundaries of good taste changed as the decades progressed, although I think things did peak and now we have gone the other way and such designs are now frowned upon in our far less promiscuous, and far more politically correct society, and I will leave you all to argue amongst yourselves as to whether this is a good thing or not. Having said all that, I find it fascinating how the ‘cartoon’ and ‘photographic’ postcards have changed during the period I have collected them. The glamour cards of the 1980’s, and the more extreme ones of the 1990’s have now pretty much gone and as a theme are now highly collected, as are the very rude cartoon cards, so, gone, but their popularity is undeniable (often the case when something goes completely and a sense of nostalgia sets in when people often feel that the changes around them are moving too fast - again, correctly or incorrectly - im not after an arguement here).
WHAT I SAW OF THE CORONATION
INTER-ART Co (Southampton House, London, W.C.)
Ref: “CORONATION” Series No. 830
A ‘fairly’ recent acquisition so I did not have this to post when the Coronation of King Charles III was going on, but this card shows that previous coronations have also resulted in postcards. I liked this one because it also appeals to me because of the inclusion of a policeman.
THE LIFEBOAT HOUSE,
This is one of my favourite old postcards from my hometown. The lifeboat house has always been placed around the towns (now City, of course) famous Pier with locations at either end of the pier because of the tide system. This real photograph postcard has a smashing clear quality to it and the detail shown here is superb. The thing with a postcard image like this is that it will appeal to more than one type of collector. Obviously, you have the local interest aspect, which is how I picked this one up, but also the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has a big following and this one would definitely be worth adding to such a collection.
THIN FLEA: “HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT JPNE’S BABY?”
FAT FLEA: “OH! I’M FED UP WITH IT!”
ART AND HUMOUR PUBLISHING Co., LIMITED,
Chancery Lane, London, W. C.
Ref: A & H “CIVIL LIFE” SERIES
Posted from Maldon (UK) September 1920
I assume this was considered as a comical piece back then, although now I suspect we would be quite appalled at the idea of fleas like this! Comic cards are a great insight into the social problems of the times as these comic cards tried to be up-to-date with problems and what was on peoples minds at that specific time. Clearly people were fixated on fleas as they were a common addition to postcards at this time, and to be fair the health of many was much lower then than as now.
Adapted from a painting by WALTER NICHOLS
NUMBER 4 IN A SERIES
DEXTER PRESS Inc
(West Nyack, N. Y.)
Printed in ‘GENUINE NATURAL COLOR’ [sic]
I found this in a cheap box at the last Woking Postcard Fair. Without seeing the details on the reverse, it was clear from the style and the colour used here that this was a card from the 1960’s. The artwork is simple, but classically simple and indicative of this decade and its postcard printing style. It caught my eye immediately.
(With Union Jack Edging)
This postcard image could be bought with and without the Union Jack flag edging on the front, but I have always preferred the look of the Union Jack versions, as many of these WWII aeroplane issues were issued with this additional red and blue colour edging.
ANOTHER FOUR YEARS
FOR PRESIDENT CARTER?
Publisher unknown – (Addressed to well-known American writer JOHN KADUCK – author of many postcard books)
This of course was not to be as Ronald Reagan would become the President in the election that I assume this postcard was produced for. This might seem an unusual postcard for me to post today but I am sitting here typing this whilst also watching and listening to a multi-part series currently showing on the PBS AMERICA channel titled ‘TAKEN HOSTAGE’ which is a documentary about the Iran hostage crisis where 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage in 1979, 1980 and into January 1981. President Carter features heavily in this series and the postcard relates here because many political analysts have cited this hostage crisis as a major factor in Carter’s landslide downfall in the 1980 presidential election.
In an interview one of the wives of a hostage was shown asking people to send postcards and Christmas cards to the Iranian embassy in the hope that all this mail would make a difference to their plight. I wonder what happened to all that mail? Mail ‘definitely’ did arrive, and in great quantities as the programme shows this and one of the hostages references it in another interview. Another story of mail being wrapped up in an historic incident and period, something I particularly find fascinating.
If anyone knows anything about the artist for this card, or any publisher details (I suspect this was produced by a small, possibly single person, publisher judging from the way it looks) then I would be pleased to hear from you.
JARROLD & SONS LTD, NORWICH
Ref: KBL 169
This common multi-view postcard was posted in 1970 and I have it in my collection because of the purple cachet on the reverse side which reads: ‘POSTED FROM THE TOP OF THE BLACKPOOL TOWER’. I collect different tourist cachets used on postcards and find these fascinating. These Blackpool Tower ones have no great value, but they add extra interest to what is otherwise a very simple, cheap postcard issue.
THE BEACH AND TOWER, BLACKPOOL
BAMFORTH & CO., LTD
“COLOR [sic] GLOSS” VIEW SERIES
Ref: ET 6486
This second Blackpool Tower postcard posted 27th Oct (1990?) is even plainer in design and image to that shown above, but again this one is included in my collection because of the ‘POSTED FROM THE TOP OF THE BLACKPOOL TOWER’ cachet applied to the reverse side, but this time it has been applied in blue.
ENTERING THE POOL OF LONDON
15TH OCTOBER 1971
BELFAST TRUST LTD
On the anniversary of D-Day it seems appropriate to post this card of HMS Belfast which took part in the Normandy landings. At 05:30 am on the 6th June 1944 HMS Belfast opened fire on a German artillery battery at Ver-sur-Mer. This postcard shows the ship on its way to its now permanent placement on the River Thames by Tower Bridge.
FLYING IN FORMATION
(It is hard to make out the postmark date, but it looks like this was possibly posted in 1940)
The Boulton Paul P.75 Overstrand bomber was a twin-engine biplane medium bomber designed by the British aircraft manufacturer Boulton Paul who fitted it with the first fully enclosed power-operated turret. The first flight took place in 1933 and the plane was introduced into service in the following year. The bomber remained in service during a period of great advancements in aeroplane design in the leadup to World War II and as a result it quickly became surplus to requirement but remained in service util 1941, although during the early years of the war they was used as training units. In all 24 Overstrands were acquired by the RAF, which was all the bombers specially built (although technically there were 28 built, but four of these were converted versions of the Boulton Paul Sidestrand from the 1920’s as the Overstrand was an improved model of this earlier aircraft).
This is what I enjoy most about postcards, buying a card and then researching the back story of what is depicted. I bought this card for just 25p at the last Woking fair and had not heard of this bomber and have been fascinated in its story.
(I don’t know what these are called, but they are pretty)
MISCH & Co
“FAIR FLOWERS” Series
Designed in England
Posted from Sidmouth and cancelled 23rd April 1906 (7:45pm)
I picked up this lovely flower art card for just 10p at the recent Woking postcard fair. Sometimes a card is just eye-catching and this one caught mine. At the price how could I not add this lovely card to my collection.
REVERSE SIDE OF ABOVE POSTCARD
This has nice clean usage and a great Birthday Greetings overprint which I liked. I do like it when postcards are used for specific things like this, and I seek out cards which have had additional printing applied. They were quite common, and a sign of how popular postcards were at this time and how printers were trying to find new ways to sell postcards.
WELLINGTONN SQUARE – CULZEAN CASTLE
BURNS STATUE SQUARE – BURNS COTTAGE & MUSEUM, ALLOWAY
E.T.W. DENNIS &SONS, LTD
Printed in their PHOTOBLUE style
Whilst I am posting about different postcard printing trends, I thought I would include one of the once very popular, blue printed multi-view postcards. Trends come and go and this one is one that didn’t really hang around for a very long time, but I suspect many UK collectors have seen this blue style of colouring to photographic cards. This is another card which I picked up at Woking for just 10p and another card for my ‘Postcard Printing History’ collection.
TO AN ABSENT FRIEND
TIMES ALTER – AS THE YEARS GO PAST, - WHAT MATTERS, WHEN – OUR FRIENDSHIPS LAST.
Printed in Saxony
Ref: Series 1879
Postally Used 19th November 1912
Some postcards do not have great value, but they have a style which is iconic in the postcard story. This type of card, with the two hands reaching out (almost like a ‘Hands Across the Ocean’ style, also a popular postcard pictorial element), and the pictures of different types of transportation, here using the two most popular forms, a steam train, and an ocean liner, is all a very common format. So many of these cheaply produced postcards were issued that they are now quite easy to obtain and normally are priced at the very lower end of the price range. This one here I picked up at the Woking Fair last weekend for just 10p, but it does have some damage, but then it was also postally used. At 10p I was not going to let this one go, especially as I have a collection of what I deem to be common postcard types with common usage etc, a type of ‘Postcard Printing History’ collection.
FOR FUN AND ENJOYMENT…
FRED CAMP (1989)
ALAN BOWER (ABBA POSTCARD)
Tomorrow I will be attending the Woking Postcard Fair, the first day of the bi-annual two-day event. Sadly, my old friend Alan Bower will not be attending this one. I have been buying modern postcards from Alan (who is the man in glasses depicted on this postcard on the far-left side) for more years than I like to try and remember, and he was always a superb source of television related cards. Despite Alan’s absence I am hoping to add many more cards to my collection from other dealers present, fingers crossed.
Und MS “UGANDA”
(Überseebrücke with sail training ship “LIBERTAD” and MS “UGANDA”)
HANS HARTZ HAMBURG
We are currently within the 41st anniversary period of the Falklands War. The MS Uganda, the large ship on the right side in this image, was designated as a hospital ship during the war and those injured after the Exocet attack on the HMS Sheffield were the first casualties to be treated onboard.
The Falklands War is a specialist theme of mine and I have a full display which I have given at a number of club meetings – this full display can be seen here on the webpage, just click on the tab marked as ‘FALKLANDS WAR PHILATELIC DISPLAY’ for all 10 pages of sheets of mounted material and loose items. Within my display I also have items related to the LIBERTAD which visited the Falkland Islands many times during the 1970’s prior to the war. My fascination in this military period means I keep an eye out for any postcards which depict any of the many ships which were involved in the conflict.
ROCKEFELLER CENTER WEEKLY MAGAZINE
OCTOBER 10, 1935
RODEO RIDER, SAYS “HELLO NEW YORK!” FROM THE TOP OF THE ROCK!
TOP OF THE ROCK
This is one of the souvenir postcards I bought on my visit to the Rockefeller Center in 2020 (just one month before the city closed-down entirely due to Covid-19, although when I we were in New York there was no indication at all of what was to come. In fact, I am certain we had not even heard about anything related to Coronavirus/Covid-19/Pandemic, how things changed!)
We really enjoyed going to the top of the Rockefeller Center, the ‘Top of The Rock’, which is a major tourist attraction and although the Empire State Building is the better-known structure to go to the top of (which we also did) I think they are so different in set up and layout that I recommend doing them both. They had a great selection of postcards on sale in various gift shops contained within the center and these are also well worth visiting.
LE “HOLLAND” ET VUE PANORAMIQUE
THE “HOLLAND” AND GENERAL VIEW
LEVY FILS Co, PARIS (LL)
Ref: VISE PARIS No 50 LL
It has been many years now since I last visited here and I did arrive by ferry that time as well, although the ferry I arrived on was a very different one to the much older version that is depicted here on this French LL postcard. I think I picked up this one in a bundle of cards I bought all together for a set price.
I HAD A PRETTY HARD PULL OF IT
Published in America by unnamed Publisher
Ref: SERIES 1906 M. S. P.
A nice early American comic postcard. I received this card, with three others, as a gift from Lawrence Fisher who I helped-out with a small favour earlier in the year. In fact, this came in the envelope from Israel, the one which I depicted the stamps from a couple of days ago, so that envelope did not contain something I had bought after all, it contained a gift, which of course is far better.
I am not sure what is behind the image of the woman pulling the hair of the man in front of her, or the printed text message title. It may have had some meaning at the time unless she is just testing to see if he is wearing a wig or testing the health of his hairline. If you know anything about the text, then I would love to hear from you. So, my thanks again to Lawrence for another great addition to my collection.
REVERSE SIDE OF ABOVE POSTCARD
There is something about the artistry of the lettering on the reverse side of early American postcards which is somehow so much more eye catching and attractive to that used on card in the UK at the same time, but to be fair I believe that UK publishers were trying to abide by UK posting rules in respect of the printing. But these American ones are great.
HIS MAJESTY KING CHARLES III: A NEW REIGN
ROYAL MAIL STAMP CARD
Ref: PHQ 515 (1)
It has taken me a week or so, but I have finally got my hands on the PHQ Stamp Card set for the stamp release for the Coronation of King Charles III. The four stamps were sold as part of a special stamp sheet and were not sold separately. This one depicted here is my favourite one as it depicts King Charles III being crowned and as such is the only stamp to directly depict a part of the coronation itself. The other three stamps, see below, depict aspects of the new king’s reign, or perhaps better, things which the new king wishes to concentrate on. The last card in the set depicts the entire stamp sheet, which I thought was quite nice. I was pleased that, unlike with many royalty themed issues they did not just use photographs of the new king.
BELGIUM – POSTAL STATIONERY POST CARD
Overprinted bottom left:
OOSTENDE – DOVER
OOSTENDE – FOLKESTONE
Official Advertising Postal Stationery Post Card
Ref: PUBLIBEL 2721 N
Postal Used 1980
This simple, but nice, postal stationery postcard has a large rectangular red Tax cancellation applied dated 2nd April 1980. The museum themed slogan cancel, on the pre-printed stamp, is dated 1st April. This has some nice clean usage with a couple of nice postal markings, but this is not an expensive or scarce card, in fact I believe I found it in a 50p box some years ago. I have always liked postal stationery post cards and although these are far more collected by philatelic collectors rather than postcard collectors, I think they are an interesting and unusual aside to the postcard history story. Also, of course, the Sealink company had itself an interesting and quite problematic history and was eventually sold in 1984 by the UK Government (27th July) and became ‘Sealink British Ferries’. In 1991 it was sold again, this time to Stena Line and was rebranded as ‘Sealink Stena Line’ and then after a few years to ‘Stena Sealink Line’. In 1996 the Sealink part disappeared completely, and the company became just ‘Stena Line’. So, a nice simple card with much corporate history wrapped around it.
CORONATION OF KING CHARLES III
To celebrate this historic day, I depict three related postcards which I picked up on my recent, 3rd May, visit to London.
KING CHARLES III
Ref: ELITE PLUS COLLECTION
With the official coronation being held today Charles will be crowned as King. This postcard here I found on sale in London on my trip on the 3rd May, just three days ago. I only found it on sale in one gift shop, just off Piccadilly Circus, but I suspect it is available in many others (or at least will be as time passes). This card is clearly designed to be one of the regular tourist postcards aimed mainly, but not exclusively, at foreign tourists (I know that Americans in particular like to pick up royalty themed cards like this on their trips here) and I suspect it will be around for a while and will become a common future issue, but it is nice to pick it up this close to the coronation date.
KING CHARLES III
LONG LIVE THE KING
Published by MOG CHERIE
Sold at the
National Postal Museum
The postcard illustrated above this one is clearly a tourist postcard and depicts what appears to be a commonly used photograph of our King (I believe this is the official photograph and I have seen it depicted on the front of a recent issued book about King Charles III). The above card cost me 50p and I suspect, as I stated, I will see it around for many years to come, but this artist one, depicted here, is a different story. This is a specialist issue and as such sells for £1.50, and as mentioned above, I bought mine at the National Postal Museum on Wednesday. This is currently my favourite King Charles III postcard and although it does not directly mention today’s coronation, I feel it is a worthy card for posting today. The design is quite beautiful, and I think it will become a future sought after postcard.
KING CHARLES III
THE CORONATION OF 6TH MAY 2023
“The enchanting King Charles III Coronation design is filled with symbolism inspired by The King’s life and passions”.
Sold at the
National Postal Museum
This is the first postcard I have acquired which ‘actually’ mentions the coronation directly. Although quite simple in style and design I think this is a lovely piece of artwork and it is a postcard I was delighted to come across on, my recent (3rd May) visit to the National Postal Museum.
PLEASE ENTER YOUR PIN
Textile, metal, and paper in box frame
SUMMER EXHIBITION 2021
22ND September 2021 – 2nd January 2022
ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS, LONDON
With the results coming in for the UK’s local elections I thought a political themed postcard was appropriate and as the Tory party appear to be doing rather badly and some have been placing blame on the ex-prime minister Boris (not to mention Liz Truss, although blame has also been thrown her way as well), I thought a Boris related card was definitely worth showing.
MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU
“Happy STAR WARS DAY everyone”
ARTOO-DETOO [sic] (KENNY BAKER) ATTACHES SOME WIRES TO C-3PO
(ANTHONY DANIELS) IN THE MOVIE ‘THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK’
DRAWING BOARD GREETING CARD, INC
Under official trademarking from
LUCASFILM LTD (LFL)
Original postcard from a series issued in the year of the release of the second original Star Wars film ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. These postcards were released in a set, and they have become very sought after and are now quite hard to find. This is set I have always liked, and I have quite a few but do not have a complete set. Any items that were released at the same time, or within the same year as the film(s) were released are always more interesting to collectors than retrospectively issued material (and with Star Wars there has been a great deal of retrospectively released postcards). One of my favourite little idiosyncratic aspects of this particular card is the fact that the robot R2-D2 is described in the text as ‘ARTOO-DETOO’, and that I think is quite unusual and adds some interest to this particular one.
GREETINGS FROM LONDON
FAGA (Frederick Foley)
Ref: THE FAGA SERIES No. 10A
Used on front with one of the 1984 HERALDRY stamps,
Cancelled first day of issue with special cancellation –
GUILDHALL CITY OF LONDON 17TH JANUARY 1984
One of the famous FAGA large sized map postcards. Despite huge numbers of these postcards being printed over a number of years, they are not easy to source now days, and this is a shame as they are fantastic cards packed with information and lots of little drawings related to locations within the map. Map postcards have regained their popularity over the last few years and these Faga cards deserve to be reassessed and to become sought after.
I have a specialised collection of FAGA postcards (and related ephemera) which is quite possibly one of, if not the, best held by a private collector. It is one of my premium collections.
REVERSE SIDE OF ABOVE POSTCARD
This is a good time for me to explain what the apparent reference number 18P169 means. On the back of FAGA map cards, you should find a reference of a similar set up. This number is not a reference number for the card itself but for the cards printing and can be broken down like this:
18P (18TH printing of this card)
16 (the day of the month in which printing took place – so here the 16th – obviously if printed between the 1st and 9th of the month this will be a single digit) -
9 (the month that the printing took place – so September. Obviously if printed from Oct to Dec this becomes a double figure number, so 10, 11 or 12)
WHITBY WAS SO EXPENSIVE,
ALL WE COULD AFFORD WAS THIS LOUSY POSTCARD!
KANDY TOYS LTD (2019)
LANDMARK SOUVENIRS Series
Definitely a design that is aimed at the tourists rather than the postcard collectors, but I see no reason why we cannot also find these amusing and add them to our collection.
I bought this card on a visit to Whitby in 2020 between lockdown one and lockdown two, during the brief few months when the government decided it was safe to open-up and allow people to holiday within the UK. It did not last.
On a separate note, when are we going to get some sun? It has rained so much recently that I am thinking about wearing my swimming trunks and wet weather gear every day! What we need is some weather that will allow us to spend some time on the beach like the family depicted here.
TRING CUTTING IN COURSE OF CONSTRUCTION
RAILWAYS IN THE THIRTIES
Official Postcard of the
LONDON & NORTH WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY
During this period the various national railway companies produced a wide number of different official postcards which either advertised services, trains or additional railway related material including some historical incidents and people. This one here depicts the famous train engineer and designer George Stephenson. Some of these official postcards can be rather expensive, although not this one thankfully which only cost me a couple of pounds. Having said that, I still think this is a lovely card and it was an early card having been posted in 1904.
DETAIL UIT PRENTENBOEK ‘SPEUREN MET DOERAK (2013)’
DETAIL FROM PICTURE BOOK ‘TRANING WITH DOERAK (2013)’
BELASTING & DOUANE MUSEUM (ROTTERDAM)
This was a postcard fair buy from many years ago. I think that this is a great postcard for anyone who has ‘Aviation’ as their theme. I liked the KLM aeroplane you can see in the background. A nice and unusual postcard which has a source which would normally make it quite hard to find this one.
GO CARD POSTCARD ADVERTISING (POSTER OFFER)
JOHN C. GERBER
Free Rack Postcard
(I believe this to be an American issue from the look of the company logo used)
GO-CARD POSTCARD ADVERTISING
This unusual free rack card depicts artwork – in a very modern style – of a man taking postcards from a free Go-Card Postcard Advertising postcard rack. What I like about this one is that you could post it, it is pre-addressed on the reverse side, and receive a free poster of the image depicted on this postcard. I wonder how many people sent off for the poster. I would think that the poster is harder to find now than this postcard is.
RIGHT UP TO DATE… I see you are [handwritten section in italics]
American Printed Postcard
No named Publisher
I found this nice early American teddy bear driving an early motor car postcard when I was in Florida in January of this year. It was in a cheap box, and I could not resist this image as I love teddy bear and bear related postcards.
BUILT IN BELFAST – LAST PORT OF CALL COBH. CO. CORK 11TH APRIL 1912
1912 – 2012 TITANIC CENTENARY
INSIGHT CARDS LTD
Ref: INSIGHT IRELAND – C2144
I believe I have commemorated the RMS Titanic every year that this webpage has been running (so since 2016 believe it or not). Normally I post something on the 14th April which is the anniversary of the date that the ship hit the iceberg, she sank on the 15th April in the early hours, but I am giving a display of my RMS Titanic postcards and stamps at a club in Kent tomorrow and as I also have to take my daughter and her friend to Gatwick Airport as well I suspect I will be very busy and will not be able to do a post. So, I am going to post today (and possibly the 15th) as the ship was sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on the 13th April 1912 with no hint of the disaster that was to occur the very next day.
This postcard was published in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of the disaster.
THE FIRST AND LAST LETTER BOX
& LONGSHIPS LIGHTHOUSE
Official Lands End Postcard
I have had this one quite a while. I found this one on a dealer’s stall in a cheap box a few years ago and I am fascinated by all things related to our postal history. Also, I have visited Lands End although it was a very long time ago, in fact I was a child when I visited so over 45 years ago. Perhaps it is time I visited here again and perhaps I can pick up a more modern version of this card.