The study and collecting of postcards is called “deltiology. The value of old postcards is dependent on a number of factors, including their condition, rarity, age, and subject matter. Similar to other types of vintage and antique collectibles, postcard values are based on a specific set of criteria that affect the value of antique and vintage postcards. The following are the most important. One of the first things an appraiser or collector will notice about your postcard is its condition. Cards in fine shape, with no discoloration, foxing, tears, or other damage fetch the highest prices. Some cards had flocking, glitter or gilding, and those sections of the card need to have as much of the original material as possible. A card which looks perfect could be a reproduction, so be careful when buying.
Value of Old Postcards
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Vintage postcards, in particular, offer a unique glimpse of the past. This is also the time when real photo postcards (RPPCs) start to appear. just make out “10” at the end of the postal cancel date, identifying that this postcard is from
Postcards have a serious and dedicated following of collectors. Vintage postcards, in particular, offer a unique glimpse of the past. The hobby of collecting postcards is so popular that it even has its own word: deltiology , the study and collection of postcards. Postcards as we know them today took a while to develop and had several different stages. The many different manifestations of postcards make it relatively simple to categorize postcards into various eras.
The history of the postcard started in , with a US Congressional Act that allowed the mailing of privately printed cards weighing less than an ounce.
How to Estimate the Age of a Vintage Postcard
Most Real Photo Postcards, abbreviated RPPC, have information on their backs to help in identifying the manufacturer of the photographic paper that was used by the postcard publisher. If you can identify the paper manufacturer, you can approximate the age of the old postcard. If the postcard has a stamp box, click on one of stamp box links below.
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Jump to. Sections of this page. Accessibility help. Join or log in to Facebook. Email or phone. Forgotten account? Sign Up. There are a myriad of ways one can determine an approximate or sometimes an exact date for your old postcard. Some postcards, especially chromes printed by the LL Cook Company and a few others, and many vintage postcards by the Detroit Publishing Company also known as Detroit Photographic or Phostints put copyright dates right on the card about These earlier dates usually applied to the image and in many cases the card was actually printed a few years later.
19th Century Picture Postcards
We hope you find this guide useful but it should be used with caution, stamps in circulation could and can! Stamps illustrated are the common issues for the relevant ‘postcard rate’ of the period. Multiples of lower value stamps were often used, as were stamps higher than the required amount. Prior to this date – pre-printed plain cards were in use which are commonly referred to as ‘Postal Stationery’ The size of cards varied throughout this period.
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The value of old postcards is affected by many variable factors, but demand, condition and rarity often have the greatest influence on how much a postcard’s worth. As experienced valuers of collectables, our experts are often asked: How do I value my vintage and old postcards? Unless you have years of experience, the short answer is with difficulty.
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Publisher’s numbering scheme Other clues. Pioneer Era Although the world’s first picture postcards date from the s to the mids, most of the earliest American picture postcards extant today are those that were sold at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, starting on May 1, These were illustrations on government-printed postal cards and on privately printed souvenir cards.
The government postal cards included a printed 1-cent stamp; the privately printed souvenir cards required a 2-cent adhesive postage stamp to be attached. Messages were not permitted on the address side of the cards; after attempting various forms of explaining that regulation, the U. The required postage was a 1-cent adhesive stamp.
At this time, a dozen or more American printers began to take postcards seriously. Still, no message was permitted on the address side. Writing was still not permitted on the address side. In this era, private citizens began to take black and white photographs and have them printed on paper with post card backs. If no message was permitted on the address side, the card probably pre-dated March of Real Photo Postcards ongoing Postcards that are actual photographic replications were first produced around They may or may not have a white border, or a divided back, or other features of postcards, depending on the paper the photographer used.
Many of the real photo postcards being done at the current time are reproductions of earlier historic photos.
Real photo postcard
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Although the world’s first picture postcards date from the s to the Ø If the card is old and is larger than by inches, it may date from before
A real photo postcard is a postcard with a genuine photographic image on one side. Real photo postcards were used for a variety of purposes. Most were the equivalent of family photographs intended to be given to relatives or friends or to be put in the family album. The average early real photo postcard of a junior high football or baseball player belonged to the player or family.
Some real photo postcards were used for advertising or sold to the public at stores and stadiums. Many of these show famous athletes and teams. In the ss, many European movie star postcards were made, with the occasional athlete turned actor depicted.
Postcard grading guide
If you can see her ears it is the later s. Such cards usually have square corners. Men wore lounge suits with matching waistcoats by the middle of the decade.
Postcard History, History of Postcards, Post Card History, History of Post If you like to keep antique photo or postcard albums complete as they were Some mechanicals have wheels that change the faces on a body or dates on a calendar.
So what’s the history of picture postcards? Here are a few timescales: – First postcards issued in the UK. These were plain cards, front and back with a pre-printed stamp and were published by the Post Office. No other companies were permitted at this time to print postcards. This brought the UK into line with other countries and is the most common size of vintage postcard you will see today. There was a picture on one side of these cards, usually not leaving much room for any message to be written as it was at that time considered unseemly to allow personal messages on something that was open for all to see!
These cards are called Undivided Backs People used to get round it by writing on the front, in the space around the image! Check out this one of Ryde Esplanade, Isle of Wight. On the front, would be the picture. Good tip for today, perhaps? The period between and when the Great War broke out, is known as the Golden Age.
Between those dates hundreds of thousands of postcards were issued – it became a national craze both here and abroad. Hence all the private collections of vintage postcards found in house clearances today
About Postcard Collecting
If you work with Japanese picture postcards as historical source material, you have probably noticed that most surviving cards lack postmarks and other temporal indicators. This post provides a guide to estimating the age of these revealing artifacts, based on printing conventions that conformed to international and Japanese postal regulations. This post also provides several examples and explanations of Japanese postmarks.
This chart by Urakawa Kazuya provides the basic method scholars use to subdivide Japanese picture postcards into four periods:. Period III. Period IV.
The oldest known picture postcard sold in at the London Stamp Exchange auction for Determining age is not easy, even if a card has a date printed on it.
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