Schaar & Dathe, from the old city of Trier on the river Mosel, was one of the bigger German postcard (export) printers during the boom years. They used the three major printing processes for postcard printing then: letterpress, litho- and collotype process, or a combination of them. Many cards show the initials S. & D. T. with or without the “Roman” logo (ill above) or the shield logo. Often however, only a 5-digit card/job number is the only trace. Some specific layout details are helpful for identification. Sometimes a difficult task, however. – An article on the company history is found in TPA 31 –

Company History

The company was set up by the partners Aloys Schaar and Hermann Dathe in August 1895. As so often seen, one partner (Schaar) must had left the business partnership at an early stage, c. 1904. An entry in a printing directory from 1898 mentions commercial letterpress printing only. No street address given, but the company used to be found later at Nordallee 43.

S. & D. entered the ppc printing market using the collotype process mostly. By 1900 S. & D. were one of several German postcard printers to offer collotype printed ppc’s in less than 20 working days. It were times of (collotype) overcapacity. Cards printed by a combination of collotype and litho process are also known (see ill. at bottom of page). Followed by the popular ‘Autochrom’ process.

Italy appears to had been an early market. A 1903 publisher directory lists a branch in Milano and a 1900 p/u card mentions an agent in Napoli. In 1904 the company was converted into a “K.-G. a. A.” = limited partnership on shares; a bit unusual. By 1923 the firm was turned into a stock company on shares. The director always Hermann Dathe. S. & D. had 15 presses in pre WW1 years. Bigger format, 5 each: letterpress, litho and collotype plus other machinery and about 150 workers.


Saluti dall’ Isola di Capri - Arco naturale della grotta di Mitramonia. Monochrome printed by collotype process on ivory board. Mentiones Schaar & Dathe, Treviri, Germania and representative Otto Brandes, Napoli. Bears number 17529 and was p/u to Austria in April 1900.

Now it becomes interesting - and mixed up: S. & D. continued to offer ppc printing as well as other (illustrated) jobs well into the early 1930’s. For production they used 4 large/7 smaller letterpress, 3 large/2 smaller litho, 1 offset and 3 collotype presses. Workforce: 85 persons. Then the 1933 Klimsch directory has news. The company read now: Schaar & Dathe, Ernst Klein AG. Directors were Hermann Dathe and G. A. Klein. More presses, still 85 workers. With a branch in Barmen (Wuppertal), Karlstr. 6, guess the Klein business came from here. It did not work out, the AG went into liquidation in 1934, but was continued by a Fritz Hagen with 30 workers and less machinery. The business was now found at Adolf-Hitler-Str. 8 in Trier. By 1939 the company read: H. Dackweiler & Co., formerly Schaar & Dathe, 35 workers, at same address. Years ago a researcher claimed that the above mentioned Klein business was around in post-1945 years again, being the successor to S. & D., which I treat to be likely not correct.

Identification of S. &. D., T. printed postcards

Quite a number of postcards printed (and published) by Schaar & Dathe show either their full name or initials (with or without logo) imprinted.

The majority however, have a number only good for identification. Usually 5-digit, few 4-digit only, which is found arranged on or even inside the picture. Later the number moved to the address side at the traditional lower right corner position. Some halftone / coloured cards show a ‘A’ prefix. Now others used numbers too, but the S. & D. serif style number is wider typeset and easy recognizable. Some samples are shown below.


Gruss aus Travemuende. Early type (c. 1897-1902) card with full Schaar & Dathe, Trier imprint on picture side. This is a printing sample card for “Platin” quality. A monochrome collotype printing on smooth surface ivory card board. 500 cards 13 Marks; 1000 for 18,50.


But something that was used by Schaar & Dathe ONLY, likely to cover up the country of origin, was the imprint ‘Printed in Treves’.


Detail from Hambledon Mill (Surrey - Thames River region) address side with S. & D. “Printed in Treves” imprint arranged along the long side of the stamp box. No card number and no local publisher imprint..

London, Regent Quadrant. Not p/u with divided back. This card bears a rubberstamp imprint of S. & D. describing it as collotype Duotone quality (Black/Blue), 20 Marks per 1000 cards. Duotone gives images a wider tonal range. The card number 77985 is found on lower left corner on picture side. S. & D. supplied many cards to customers in the British Empire.


So far I have found 3 language version of this special imprint: English ‘in Treves’, ‘à Trèves’ on French cards and ‘Trevisi’ on Italian cards. Trier is the oldest German city. The Roman founded a town named Augusta Treverorum in 15 B.C. and under Emperor Augustus it was named Treveris.

Are you interested in some additional information on Schaar & Dathe and their cards codes? A two page article from TPA, issue 16, can be made available in pdf-file format (b/w) to interested collectors. Send request to:

Detail from the address side of a New York view (119447) printed and published by Schaar & Dathe. The address side shows more colour than the picture side, which is rather uncommon. The S. & D. logo type is not often found. Furthermore their name / initials are found listed three times, country of origin twice on this unusual card.


S. & D. souvenir border design no. 8, inserted view from the city of Aachen - interior of the emperor hall. Full name imprinted on address side. A job number reads ‘58303. Not p/u, undiv. back, pre-1905. This type of card, the colour design / background normally by litho and the inserted view by collotype process, was popular between c. 1900- 04. S. & D. samples are not often seen.

[Home] [Postcard History] [German Printers] [Identification] [Printer Logo's] [TPA Magazine] [Contact] [PPC Novelties] [Finds & Curio] [Collecting Subjets]