About Picture Postcards.



All about picture postcards


  The scan above shows just a small variety of the different types of old picture postcards that we are always eager to purchase.  Best prices paid for collections of old picture postcards of all types. Accumulations, collections, family albums, hoards large and small, used or unused


Size is important... nearly all vintage postcards from 1900 to 1960 should measure aprox 140 x 89 mm (plus or minus 3 mm) postcards that are larger than this are considered to be 'MODERNS' and not 'GOLDEN AGE' postcards .


Collecting picture postcards



 Postcard collecting in the United Kingdom is second only to stamps in popular appeal. Almost every household has a few old picture postcards cards tucked away at home. Scenic views (topographical) or cards of social history interest. It is these which are widely collected today by an estimated 100,000 people in the UK. Picture postcard collecting is just as popular in other parts of the world.   


Postcard collecting in the golden age 


 Sending and collecting postcards was a national craze in the years up to 1914, and private publishers - given licence by the Post Office on 1st September 1894 to produce postcards - provided the public with a feast of designs to choose from.


 In Edwardian days, every personality imaginable - actresses, bishops, politicians, sportsmen, suffragettes, local eccentrics - adorned the picture side of cards. Photographic views of city centres, railway stations, villages and rural scenes were eagerly bought, and comic cards explored every situation and double meaning.


The First World War brought its own style of postcards: embroidered silks, sentimental song cards, and patriotic flags and bulldogs. The most prolific and inventive years of postcard design were from 1902-18, this period is commonly referred to as "The Golden Age", but the last two decades have seen a huge revival in postcard publishing.  


 Over the years, a host of accomplished artists have used postcards to display their talents, Donald McGill, the "King of the seaside postcard", and Mabel Lucie Atwell, famous for drawing cute children in humorous situations, both had cards published over a 50-year period. John Hassall, Louis Wain, Bruce Bairnsfather, and Alfred Leets - all of whom became famous in other media - are among thousands whose work adorned cards. Top European artists like Alphonse Mucha and Raphael Kirchner favoured many postcards with their art nouveau designs or glamorous ladies.


   Modern cards include popular subjects such as film posters, glamour and pop, easily available on the High Street of any town. Events like the Gulf War and the miners' strike of the early 80s, as well as political and green issues, feature on postcards from a range of special publishers. 



  Postcard Collecting - the Hobby 


  Picture Postcards have been issued in virtually every country in the world and the hobby is truly international. Many art and commemorative cards are appreciated worldwide and subjects like Advertising, Shipping and Military can be sought after by collectors from a number of different countries.  


 Postcard fairs held in London, Paris, New York or Brussels attract an international clientele. Today both old and contemporary postcards are eagerly collected as items of nostaglia, works of art, thematic fun, examples of postal history and important social history source material.


   There's no age limit on postcard collecting, no class barriers and no price put-off. Because cards cost from a few pence upwards, anyone can collect what they like.  


Postcards - an Educational Resource  


 The wealth of information and images available, some of which are unique, make postcards a marvelous resource for schools, local history groups, and students.  The above narrative has been used with kind permission from Derek Popplestone of The P.T.A postcard Traders Association.  


pta logo


Web site updated March 2019