Here comes the ‘original’ Postcard Finds & Curio column from TPA, although I am going to show some general topics, too.

 Postcard Publisher Tricks...

The booming market then needed a steady flow of new postcard issues and designs. Clever publishers used some tricks to “feed” the customers desire and save on costs as well.

Picture Postcards (topographic): views previously published were offered in different make and quality again. Monochrome views were coloured, diff. printing processes were used, other card board, image blown up or reduced in size and new arranged etc – photographs were retouched, people, vehicles or other objects added or removed – the same view was inserted in a decorative border design, with new artwork and so on and on.


Sometimes postcards from other publishers were “copied”. Some retouches done, and a ‘new’ card was ready for the market.


Wilhelmshaven, Germany, naval port with 1st Squadron. A Zeppelin was added. Publ. W.B.L(evy). H.(amburg), no. 24.


Wilhelmshaven, same view of port, without Zeppelin. Publ.: M.L. Carstens, Hamburg. Card. no. 703. Both cards not p/u, of pre-1914 date.

Subject Postcards (greeting, art postcard etc): this type of cards was usually good for export, with captions in various languages. However, the initial costs were also high. Cards were offered in several qualities / makes, e.g. embossed or plain, with glossy finish, extra golden decor etc. – the same design was published again, under new card number, with new colouring, or just as mirror image. Figures, art work were used again for new cards, designs of competitors were copied... Publishers were very creative indeed. Please take a look at Postcard ‘Twins’ for more samples. The ‘Postcard Twins’ matter is also subject of an article in the next issue (no. 27) of ‘The Postcard Album’.

Novitas_lady_to_the_right Novitas_lady_to_the_left

Berlin-based publishers Novitas-Neuheiten published this “Pair” in their Novolito series. The left appears to be the original view, signature could read (Ludwig) Knoefel. But why a second version? Both cards were p/u in Austria in the mid 1920’s.

 Their very best trick...  

... was to adopt the series card scheme, trade / manufacturers (tobacco, coffee, chocolate ...) had successfully used before.

People love to collect things, have something complete. Simply put a series number or name on postcards, best with a separate card/dess. number that shows that there are other cards in the series. Now many are eager to get them all together. Simple, but effective.

Some publisher produced some fine series. With the demand becoming stronger, often postcards series esp. subject cards, became “cheaper”. The illustrated “Little Mignon” series of Paul Fink, Berlin, is such an example. A little girl posing in front a painted background. Not very exciting. Guess there is even a card no. 6 belonging to this set.

Even better were other series that told a story, e.g. an illustrated short story arranged over a set 6 cards. Very popular in WW1 days in Germany and Austria.

Also popular were postcard puzzles / installment cards (see card illustrated at bottom of page), some arranged by up to 12 or even more cards, all together forming a completely new picture. These are hard to find nowadays, completely. Usually you have some missing.

Also found are (jigsaw) series consisting of 4 to 6 card for birthdays, anniversaries and similar events. They form sayings like “Hoch soll er leben!” A single card from such a series is illustrated at bottom of page.

Publishers were imaginative indeed!

Below an interesting French card that demonstrates the common use of slightly varied views in postcard series clearly.

It is full with interesting details. Please look at the (complete?) card series displayed on the wall behind the boy in sunday dress and cigarette? Appear to be mostly photographic cards, the same person(s) over and over again, in slightly different pose. Were collectors back then so easy to please?

Seen can be also a certificate of the I.C.C.P. (lower right part of the image). The initials stood for the ppc collecting society ‘Intermédiaire Collectionneurs Cartes Postales Illustrées’.

I interpret the roman IX. prefix in caption line as card no. 9 in a series of? At lower right corner of the picture a ‘A.S.’ is found which does not look like being part of the illustrated card. Guess it are the initials of the anonymous French publisher. This nice card was postally used within France in 1903.


Little Mignon, guess the character from Goethe’s work, or is it the opera of Ambroise Thomas?

Real (bromide) photo card series no. 616 published and printed by Paul Fink, Berlin. Publisher of various subject/greeting cards and then a bigger manufacturer of real photo cards.

Became later part of the Albrecht & Meister / Neuro group of firms. More details in TPA 24.


Greetings from (Neuwied), 1 out of 4 or more ‘installment’ cards. The design (‘combined series postcard’) was registered for printers / publishers Rosenblatt, Frankfurt/Main, under no. 77128 in about mid 1897.


Four male singers. guess it is card no. 1 of four, singing “Long live ...” No publisher listed. Mailed in 1915 in Switzerland.

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