Tuesday, December 16, 2008

With Best Wishes for Christmas - 1921

This charming vintage Christmas greetings postcard picturing a sprig of mistletoe and holy beneath a message for a "blest Christmastide" was posted to a London (UK) address on 21 December, 1921.

It is edged with a decorative embossed border and has a serial number 1619-5, however other than that, I have no other clues to the manufacturer!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gabrielle Ray circa 1905-1910

This gorgeous portrait of British born Edwardian actress Gabrielle Ray was published by Aristophot Co., Ltd (1905-1910) a postcard company based at 11 Southampton Row, London, England, although the card was printed in Leipzig, Saxony.

It is an uncirculated hand-coloured postcard print taken from a photograph by The Dover Street Studios, one of the leading firms specialising in theatrical portraiture based at 38 Dover Street, London.

Born Gabrielle Elizabeth Clifford Cook on the 28th April 1883, Gabrielle Ray had a successful stage career in the United Kingdom appearing in numerous musical comedies until she suffered a nervous breakdown in 1936 and was then institutionalized for nearly forty years. She died at the age of ninety on 21 May 1973.

There's a wonderful collection of Miss Gabrielle Ray postcards here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pantheon di Agrippa - 1915-1920

This uncirculated postcard features a sepia tint photograph of one of my favourite monuments in Rome – The Pantheon. It was issued between 1915 and 1920 by the printer Alterocca - Terni

identifiable by a simple name on the reverse of the postcard; the company would not use a logo until the 1940s. The company was created in 1877 by a primary school headmaster by the name of Virgilio Alterocca (Terni 1853-1910) . It started life as a small print shop yet became one Italy's most important postcard producers with clients from all over the world and with an annual output of 50 million postcards during the 1930s!

The advent of colour printing saw the steady decline and eventual closure of Alterocca although in 1995 the Alterocca Photographic Archive of over a million images was acquired by Alterocca Media.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

An Easter Token - 1912

Apologies for posting such an unseasonal item but I recently came across this vintage embossed Easter greetings postcard at a market and it was love at first sight!

The card was printed by Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co (as S.Hildesheimer & Co. Ltd. - London & Manchester) as part of Series No.1023

Siegmund Hildesheimer opened as publisher of books in 1830 and started printing Christmas cards in Manchester in 1876. The business extended to London in 1881 where they produced postcards on numerous subjects until 1920.

Posted on 8 April 1912 from Finsbury Park, London, England

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Water Skiers - 1969

Another postcard bought in Italy - this uncirculated postcard features a wonderful shot of 1960s women water skiers and was taken from a Kodak Ektachrome photograph. It was issued in 1969 by the company P. Marzari Srl - Schio

Many thanks to Cartoline di Trieste for helping me identify the printer through its amazing on line database.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sebino Betty Dolls Advertisement - 1967

I picked this kitsch marvel up from a postcard and stamp collectors' stall on Piazza Borghese in Rome the other day - I couldn't resist it!

The postcard is entitled Betty...รจ una bella bambolina! (literally translated - Betty is a beautiful little doll) and was printed as an advertising postcard by famous Italian doll manufacturer Sebino who produced the Cicciobello baby dolls during the 1970s.

The postcard was posted to Rome from Florence on 5 January, 1967.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Clovelly - 1951

Vintage Postcard of Clovelly posted in 1951 from nearby Westward Ho! This charming village on the north Devon coast of England is an important tourist attraction, famous even today for its steep cobbled streets leading down to the Bristol Channel and its donkeys. The donkeys were traditionally used for carrying goods up and down the streets - today sledges do the work whilst the donkeys are free to pose for tourists' cameras!

UPDATE 21 June, 2009

The man leading the donkey in this postcard was Gordon Perham (1920 - 1983), who became Harbour Master at Clovelly. Many thanks to his daughter for the information.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bruce Springsteen -1975

I've always loved this 1970's postcard which reproduces a Bruce Springsteen concert poster. It appears to be one of Eric Meola's classic shots from the same photo session that produced the Born to Run cover – with the addition of the “Wild and Innocent” on the back of the jacket (a reference to the Boss' previous album The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle) and a pair of baseball boots slung over the end of his guitar.

It advertises a forthcoming gig at New York venue The Bottom Line and the album Born to Run. Born to Run was Springsteen's third album and was released in 1975. It was ranked #18 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pisa - 1937

I've lived in Italy since 1994 so it seemed appropriate that I add an Italian vintage postcard to this gallery! This image is of one of the country's most famous landmarks - the leaning tower of Pisa - which is in fact the freestanding bell tower of Pisa cathedral in Tuscany.

The tower was built in three stages over a protracted period of about 177 years with work on the first floor beginning in 1173. By the time works had reached the third floor in 1178, however, the tower had already begun to sink!

It was officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Canterbury Cathedral - 1923

This lovely postcard of Canterbury Cathedral was posted in 1923. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the church of the head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It is also famous the world over because of its associations with the martyrdom of Thomas Becket who was murdered in the north-east transept on Tuesday 29 December 1170 by over zealous knights of King Henry II who had taken the king's exasperated cry of Who will rid me of this turbulent priest? rather literally. The pilgrims in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales are heading for his tomb.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Great Globe, Swanage - 1944

To the west of Swanage, a mile or so from the town is the 261 acre Durlston Country Park. This is set on the cliff top, and on the cliff edge at 139 feet above sea level you will find 'The Great Globe'. This is a 40 ton 10 foot diameter Portland stone, globe of the earth.
Given that Swanage has an important history in the local stone industry, as both a quarry town and harbour from which Purbeck Marble was shipped for use in cathedrals throughout Europe, there's something rather fitting about this huge stone globe overlooking the town. Purbeck Marble was used to build Westminster Abbey, as well as Lincoln, Salisbury and Exeter Cathedrals.

This postcard featuring this unusual monument was posted in 1944.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

'Blue Peter' Postcard Autographed by TV Presenters

This was a real prize from my childhood! I won it in an auction at school which I remember as having been organised to raise money for an Italian Earthquake Appeal which would date it to late 1980 - early 1981.

It's signed by the then presenters of the BBC television show Blue Peter Peter Duncan, Sarah Greene (both autographs very faded) and Simon Groom.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cader Idris -1913 Vintage Postcard

This sepia tint view from near the summit of the mountain Cadair Idris (or Cader Idris as it is named on the postcard) was posted on 18 August 1913 in the Welsh town of Dolgelle and sent to a certain Miss Rogers in Liverpool.

The mountain is found in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vintage Postcards Video

To launch my new Vintage Postcard Store and this blog I've made a short video with a selection of historic postcards from the early 1900s to the 1970s that shows a variety of postcard subjects from world famous destinations like Pisa to lesser known British seaside resorts like Forness Bay.

Watch this space! I'll be adding postcards to the gallery on a regular basis!