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Vintage Christmas Postcard Greetings!


Vintage postcard albums

A few years ago, I purchased a selection of vintage postcard and photograph albums at an auction. The first ever postcards were probably sent in the 1860s, and the rectangles of stiff paper or card were especially popular from the late 19th century until the First World War. The postcards in my albums mainly date from this ‘golden age’, but also include examples from the 1930s to the early 1950s. Even if the date isn’t featured on the card, it is possible to tell the age according to the postmark, or guesstimate by the monarch featured, or design of, the postage stamp.

Vintage Christmas postcard of children sitting under the Christmas treeVintage Christmas postcards of children playing in the snow

The study and collecting of postcards (called deltiology) is not something I intended to do. However, postcards provide a fascinating snapshot of society at a time when few newspapers had images.  

They depict places and buildings, gardens, parks, churches, cemeteries, and tourist sites. They provide an insight into fashion, material culture, humour and many other aspects of daily life, as well as significant occasions.

During their heyday, postcards revolutionised communication, much like social media today. And now they have become treasured keepsakes, and make curiously characterful vintage gifts.

Vintage Christmas postcards of country scenes and reindeerVintage Christmas postcard of gift basket

I’ve recently been reading about David Gutenmacher’s TikTok gallery - @MuseumOfLostMemories, and thought I would try to do some research to establish who originally owned my charming volumes. The cards in the albums come from all over the world, but the senders are mainly from England, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Vintage Christmas postcards of snowy scenes and an old photographVintage Christmas postcard – holly sprig

I’d love to know more about Dorrie, the postmistress from Ashford Station in Middlesex, whose name appears on many of the cards. I’m also curious to identify the families in Gent, Ostend and Antwerp, and Maria de Roover from the Netherlands, and to find out who the people featured in photographs are. 

Vintage Christmas postcard of bell and holly
Vintage Christmas postcards of flowers and an old photograph

Anyway, I thought I would share a few of the pretty cards in my collection to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you like them. 

Do you?

PS By way of a Christmas gift to the Curious Cognoscenti, all subscribers to our newsletter will have early access to our January sale from 15th December.

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