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What Makes A Vintage Postcard Desirable To Collectors

 
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Valued Member

United States
18 Posts
Posted 04/26/2018   7:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Joe2007 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've been collecting vintage postcards for about a year and have been examining a lot of postcards online and in person. I've learned a lot but still consider myself a newbie to the world of Deltiology.

I'd like to get some opinion's from experienced collectors on what makes a particular postcard desirable? Is it rarity, subject matter, age, or some combination of a number of factors?

Personally I really enjoy the older cards from the turn of the century (golden age of the postcard) but am also heavily swayed but the subject matter of the card. I especially enjoy postcards with lots activity going on in within them, like street scenes. I'm also trying to collect cards that give us a glimpse into another age, so I enjoy the postcards of huge industrial factories, the likes of which are now disappearing in a post-industrial America.

Any ideas on how to gauge rarity other than evaluating what is and isn't available online and what reference books say is rare/valuable?

Enough of my long winded thoughts for now .... Please comment with your below.

Thanks,
Joe2007

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Edited by Joe2007 - 04/26/2018 7:54 pm

Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
4230 Posts
Posted 04/27/2018   02:48 am  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You may be asking the wrong group of people, as I suspect that most of those here who have postcards (and don't have them primarily for the postmarks) just acquire them for the subjects and the images, irrespective of monetary value. Yes, real photographic, rather than printed, cards sell for more and may have more local interest, but they're expensive. Similarly, cards designed by highly regarded artists look good, but can cost a fortune. I'm happier collecting pretty pictures!
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Australia
1146 Posts
Posted 04/27/2018   06:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Joe2007,

I have a good collection of postcards and will scan some and post to your thread over the weekend.

Like you, I almost exclusively collect picture postcards from the first decade of the 20th century. Those that are postally used are dated between 1899 and 1912 as I pretty much only collect postcards bearing New South Wales stamps, although the earlier ones have the stamp impressed rather than having an adhesive.

I focus on certain themes and regions. I like Sydney street scenes, especially considering how much of Sydney's 19th century buildings have been knocked down in the name of 'progress'.

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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 04/27/2018 06:38 am
Pillar Of The Community
United States
634 Posts
Posted 04/27/2018   08:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree Geo - subject matter and interest images.

While I don't "collect" postcards per se, I do have two small collections: postcards of my home town and my wife's home town, and a very incomplete collection of one card from every town in my state.
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Valued Member
United States
479 Posts
Posted 04/27/2018   10:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Freibergs to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Desirability is in the eye of the beholder. What interests you? A particular country? Time period? Town? Subject? Real photo? Color? B&W? Postage & cancel? Unused? Those are all questions that you have to answer for yourself since you are collecting for your enjoyment. And I think enjoyment is the most important part!!

I collect Latvia simply because of the connection to my parents and the country they came from. I visited there 3 times in the early 90's and between buying postcards then and what I've managed to collect over the years prior to that I had 4 or 5 shoe boxes full to enjoy sorting thru.

Collect for your personal enjoyment whatever that may be.
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United States
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Posted 04/27/2018   7:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You can learn an awful lot about conventional tastes by reading the bible:


Quote:
The Encyclopedia of Antique Postcards: A Fully Illustrated History and Price Guide to More Than 100 Collecting Categories from Attwell to Zodiac

Nicholson, Susan Brown

Published by Wallace-Homestead Book Co (1994)

ISBN 10: 0870697307 ISBN 13: 9780870697302

https://www.abebooks.com


That having been said, I collect a batch of topics Ms Nicholson would not use for composting. You are welcome to search this forum topic for my user name and get a hint of the breadth of my interests.

In addition to the many topics that tickle my easily-tickled fancy, I also collect cards that were produced by particular production techniques, or were produced by a particular publisher in a particular style, or bear an interesting stamp or slogan cancel, or that I know are of interest to postcrossers or folks on this forum, or ...

Lastly, your question comes days before the Spring International Postcard Show in New York City, where you can see cards that sell for prices near one thousand dollars each ... as well as a staggering variety of more mundane stuff.

Hint: look at lots of cards, and grab what you like.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Australia
1146 Posts
Posted 04/27/2018   9:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I lived in the Blue Mountains and honeymooned at Jenolan Caves.





The church I was baptised in.



Industry in Lithgow NSW. Only ruins remain of this building. I lived there for a year and could see the ruins from the front room of the house, which were illuminated at night.



Circular Quay and George Street Sydney, as I would've loved to have seen them. The left side of George Street hasn't actually changed much. From the front, St. Andrews Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building.





Only the Lithgow card was expensive but to me they all have appeal.
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United States
687 Posts
Posted 04/27/2018   10:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have four file boxes of picture postcards, not including those that are in binders as part of some other collection. Some are postally used, but most aren't. Some are new, some are old, some were new when I got them but may now qualify as old. But apart from a few uninteresting ones that were given to me because they had "old" stamps on them, they all hold some sort of interest for me. They may show a place I've visited, a work of art that I find attractive or interesting, something that appeals to my (often twisted) sense of humor, a favorite celebrity, a beautiful woman, etc. etc. etc.

In addition, I collect stamps and postal history pertaining to Esperanto and other artificial international languages, and that collection also contains a good number of picture postcards, because the picture, stamp, cancellation, or a poster stamp on it fits the topic, or because the message was written in a relevant language. The more of these elements a card has, the more desirable it is to me. Bonus points if it's from a country not yet represented in my collection, especially if the combination of origin and destination is unusual (such as Vietnam to Bulgaria or Fiji to the Canal Zone). Bonus points if it predates the other cards I have in that language. Bonus points if it was written by or sent to a significant person in the history of the language (especially the inventor). Bonus points if it's in an artificial international language not yet represented in my collection.

I'll buy any postcard written in Esperanto, Ido, Volapük, etc. if the price is low enough (say $1 or less), as long as it's not absolute garbage. But if I'm going to pay a higher price, there needs to be something more to attract me. I've mentioned topically relevant elements that can do this, but I have a particular weakness for picture postcards (or illustrated covers) that relate to my personal history or to some other interest of mine in addition to Esperanto.

Here's an excellent example of a postcard that presses more than one of my buttons. Sinjoro Kovács, the recipient of this postcard, was evidently a Hungarian Esperantist who was also learning Japanese. Ishida-san, his Japanese correspondent, has therefore written the card partly in Esperanto, but mostly in Japanese, forming the characters carefully and clearly and often using simple katakana instead of more complex kanji for the benefit of his inexpert reader. As an Esperantist who has struggled for years at learning to read Japanese, this card really speaks to me.



But that's not all! When we turn the card over, we have this photo of two pretty Japanese women in native garb. I would buy this sort of thing for my picture postcard collection, even if nothing had been written on it.



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Australia
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Posted 04/28/2018   04:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Lovely cards erilaz
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Valued Member
United States
18 Posts
Posted 05/13/2018   4:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joe2007 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the responses. I picked up the book that ikeyPikey suggested and have been trawling eBay listings trying to discern a method to the madness on values and desirability.
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Edited by Joe2007 - 05/13/2018 4:19 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
3725 Posts
Posted 05/13/2018   5:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
... trawling eBay listings trying to discern a method to the madness on values and desirability ...


You are trawling in the wrong place.

eBay pricing is rife with folks willing to wait for premium prices, people who are unloading cards they know nothing about, etc ... a prescription for chaos.

If you are looking to detect patterns, stick to the larger vendors with dedicated websites, such as (without endorsement or recommendation, one way or the other):

https://www.marylmartin.com

https://www.cardcow.com

http://ifpd.info ... almost all of whom I've never heard of, but that means next to nothing

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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United States
30 Posts
Posted 05/30/2018   1:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Deltilogical to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll try to make my first post to this forum a good one. Y'all seem to have some fun here and I'd like to play.

I always tell people a postcard's value is the convergence of quality, scarcity and DEMAND.

The DEMAND part is important, because you need at least 2 collectors in order to drive up the price!

I spend a lot of time at postcard shows and when bored I monitor the SOLD listings on eBay and delcampe, although any single auction doesn't necessarily mean the next one will be as successful.

I try and avoid cards with creasing or soft corners, but generally I prefer a postally used card.
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Posted 05/30/2018   4:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
postally used card are a plus esp if they enhance the pic side
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United States
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Posted 05/30/2018   7:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add littleriverphil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Unfortunately really good postmarks like this new EKU for Salsig, Cal. occasionally come with soft corners and a crease. I think it's Mar but May is also before Aug 11 1908, the published EKU


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Posted 05/30/2018   9:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add raymodj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I used to look for EKUs on postcards but it's been years. I thought this one was Feb 1903. 1908 was W/F.

Nevermind, you mean for this particular Post Office. Carry on.
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Edited by raymodj - 05/30/2018 9:42 pm
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Posted 05/31/2018   09:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add littleriverphil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, I was referring to the town's postmark, Williams number Men 3440. This is the earliest known postmark for the town. The post office in Salsig was opened on 28 Nov 1904 ( no postmarks recorded until the Ma* 30 1908 shown above) and changed the town and post office name to Manzanita on 6 Sep 1912. But for some reason, the office continued using a new Salsig postmark (Men 3460, Men 3450 was an emergency manuscript) until the Nov 19 1913 use shown below. Although it is missing it's stamp the postmark is clear. And the EKU for Manzanita.








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