Thursday, August 25, 2011
This is a Real Picture Postcard (RPPC) of what is probably a college sports team of some sort. We're not 100% sure what kind of team it is, but we think it's basketball.
There is no messages or other writing to indicate who these people were, so we're left to wonder.
There are several ways to date an RPPC, the most obvious one being if it has a postmark or if someone wrote a date on it. This has neither. Another way is by clothing, and the "coach" is wearing a suit with a white shirt that has a high rounded stiff looking collar, with a tie. That seems to date it into the 1920s. The stamp box is another indication - different companies used different paper and they tended to turn the stamp box into their logo. You can get an idea of how old an RPPC is by that logo. The stamp box on this one dates the card from 1918-1930 or so. So 1920s is a pretty good guess.
So 85 to 90 years ago a group of now anonymous young men on what was probably a college sports team posed for a team picture, and through the randomness and vagaries of life, we ended up with it. Stuff like this never ceases to amaze me.
The postcard is not in the best shape in the world, but it's still an interesting picture.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This is an RPPC by Byron Harmon of Bow Lake, in Alberta, Canada. I believe it is in Banff National Park, and I think it is early 20th century. It is black & white, showing a teepee, the lake, mountains and clouds. The actual card looks much nicer than what I could reproduce here. I've seen color cards (probably linen) based on this view.
Byron Harmon was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1876 and died in 1942. He spent much of his life photographing the Canadian Rockies around Banff. I've had other RPPCs of his photos, and they all are very high quality. Much, much better photography than you find on your average postcard.
This was a mass produced RPPC, and there is a caption in white identifying the location a Bow Lake - its hard to read on the actual card, and pretty impossible to read on the reproduction here. I believe these captions were made by scratching them on the negative.
Anyway I like this RPPC - the image has a rather stark Ansel Adams quality to it.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
This is an art postcard by Charles M. Russell (1864-1926). The postcard is copyrighted 1952, I'm not sure when the original art was created. The back of the postcard contains a short biography of the artist.
Charles Russell captured 19th & early 20th century cowboy & western themes in his art. Sometimes his subjects are humorous, sometimes brutal or dangerous. I like this card because it's a very realistic & detailed drawing of a horse - Red Bird.
We've listed several of Russell's "Cowboy Art" cards this week in our eBay store, and still have a few more to go. They are very nice cards.
Monday, August 8, 2011
This is a cabinet photo of a man with a polka-dot tie, a plaid suit and thick mutton-chops, probably from the 1880s. Very stylish for the time, I suppose. He has the look of an office worker of some sort, but his occupation is anyone's guess.
The photo was taken by "Gutekunst, 715 Arch Street, Philadelphia", or at least in his studio. Frederick Gutekunst lived from 1831 to 1917, and became a famous and popular photographer in Philadelphia, beginning in the 1850s.
We've had this cabinet card for quite awhile, and it's actually been some time since I've looked at it, but I remember it struck me as being a very "sharp" high quality picture.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
This is a linen postcard showing the lower Manhattan Skyline in New York City. What I find interesting is the dirigible flying overhead. There are lots of Manhattan Skyline postcards out there, from all eras, but not so many with dirigibles in them, and that makes this card kind of neat.
This card has the look of a white border (about 1918-32), but when you look closely, and tilt it a little, you see the ridges, so it's a linen card (about 1932-52). I wonder if this was printed from an image originally used on white border cards. I've seen old linens reprinted on chromes before, so it's possible a white border could be reprinted on a linen.