It's hard to believe these days that the innocent kiss-me-quick seaside humour of Donald McGill, the man behind so many of the British everso slightly smutty holiday postcards issued during the first half of the last century, got its creator into quite a deal of trouble with the censors. In 1954, at the grand old age of eighty, McGill was brought to trial charged with breaking the 1857 Obscene Publications Act. Instead of it being thrown out, he actually lost the case and was made to pay a £50 fine and £25 costs.
This artist signed postcard by Donald McGill isn't one of his saucy creations, but does look at one of his classic themes – marital relations – with the stereotypical housewife portrayed as a battleaxe on the doorstep having given her beleagured husband a good battering with the traditional frying pan! McGill produced an estimated 12,000 designs, of which a staggering 200 million copies are thought to have been printed, so this postally used card is hardly a rarity, but caught my eye nevertheless when I spotted it on a market stall in Rome.
Issued as part of the "Comique" series # 5185 by the Inter-Art Co., Florence House, Barnes, London, S.W., the card was posted during the summer on 22 July, 1925, so may well have come from a holiday destination, although sadly that part of the postmark is obscured.
Fans of Donald McGill can today visit the first museum dedicated to his work - Donald McGill's Saucy Seaside Postcard Museum - or visit Tate Britain's latest exhibition - Rude Britannia: British Comic Art - which will also feature his postcards.
Watch a short video - Censored At The Seaside - below or click here to watch on YouTube.
Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.
If you want to see the finished painting, please stay tuned!
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