The Golden Age of Postcards is generally considered to be from the turn of last century to the beginning of World War I. This post focuses on the Christmas postcard, although cards were send for many occasions and as a way of keeping in touch. Christmas postcards were favorites and one finds them frequently tucked away in postcard albums or scrapbooks, or in boxes of memorabilia. Common illustrations were of children, animals, trees, and gifts although many examples exist with florals you might not immediately associate with the holiday season. Some postcards contained photographs as opposed to illustrations. “Hold to Light” postcards, where a different image seemed to magically appear when the card was held to a light source, were also popular.
Although many countries had their own postcard manufacturers, it was the German postcards people loved the most. Their quality and beauty simply could not be surpassed.
Today postcards are among the least expensive categories of Christmas collectibles and ephemera, with good quality examples available for under $10.00. Artists signed cards command higher prices as do those produced as one of a series. Santa postcards are by the most collectable and Santas wearing suits other than red will also cost you more. And, if you chance across a Hold to Light Santa dressed as Uncle Sam, hang onto it! It’s among the rarest of Santa postcards.