Thursday, December 31, 2009

PFF - Vintage French New Year Postcard with Mailbox

Bonne année is French for Happy New Year. I have several vintage French New Year postcards with a mailbox (boîte aux lettres) theme. Isn't it strange how the scene looks more like spring than winter?

I have a new button on my sidebar for the Vintage Postcard Forum. Check out the forum if you are interested in vintage postcards.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

VTT - Happy New Year & Dutch Kids

Three things that were popular in the early twentieth century were images of Dutch kids, postcard collecting, and pyrography (wood burning). On postcards, the Dutch kids speak in a dialect of English supposed to imitate the way a Dutch person would speak. This postcard was published by Bergman.

This burnt wood plaque is 9-3/4" in diameter. I am showing both sides because the back was used as a sort of practice sampler. There is a number 452 stamped on the back but no manufacturer's name.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year - Year of the Tiger

This is a Japanese New Year postcard for 1986, the year of the tiger. The tiger is one of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. The year of the tiger occurs every twelve years, so 2010 is again the year of the tiger.

The Japanese traditionally send New Year's Day postcards (nengajō). Many of the Japanese postcard designs are based on the Chinese zodiac signs. The Japanese celebrate the New Year on January 1, based on the Gregorian calendar instead of the Chinese calendar. The date of the Chinese New Year varies from year to year--in 2010 it is February 14.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Russian Soviet New Year Card & Snegurochka

This Soviet New Year card is ©1980. It features Snegurochka, the Snowmaiden. Snegurochka is the granddaughter or helper of Ded Moroz (Father Frost), the Russian and Slavic character similar to Santa Claus. Ded Moroz delivers gifts on New Years Day.

On the back of this card is handwritten information about Soviet New Years cards:

This is a typical Soviet New Years card. There are many different styles, but each shop has only a few. When a shop with good cards opens - everyone, including me, lines up to capture a few of the beauties.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Year Pigs & Good Luck Symbols

This is one of my favorite New Year postcards. It has a nice image with lots of good luck symbols associated with New Years--pigs, money bags, horseshoe, and four-leaf clover. It also has an interesting message on the back.

The writer wrote that she got a burnt wood set, also known as a "pyrographic outfit," for Christmas. Wood burning (pyrography) was popular during the same time period as postcards in the early twentieth century. I have a small pyrography collection, and you can see some of my collection by clicking on the "pyrography" label. The illustration of a pyrographic outfit is from an old catalog reproduced in the Collector's Guide to Burnt Wood Antiques.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

PFF - Santa Claus Reading Mail - Saturday Evening Post

The picture on this postcard is Norman Rockwell's painting Santa Claus Reading Mail. The postcard was sent in 1976 to announce a gift subscription to the Saturday Evening Post magazine. The painting originally appeared on the cover of the December 21, 1935 issue of Saturday Evening Post. This painting is also on the cover of the 2009 revised edition of Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

VTT - Little Girls Love Christmas Trees

This Christmas postcard was copyright 1910 by Arthur Horwitz and was mailed on December 21, 1915. Gladys wrote to Paul that she was not feeling very good but would try to be all well by Xmas.

The book A Christmas Tree for Lydia by Elizabeth Enright was copyright 1947 and 1951. The text of the story was originally published in Woman's Home Companion under the title "A Tree for Lydia." The book is a small size, 4" x 5-1/4".

Lydia was four and her brother Eddy was nine. Eddy knew that Santa would not bring a Christmas tree or presents that year because their mother was about to lose her job. Eddy devised a plan to get a Christmas tree for Lydia. He convinced Lydia that Santa Claus was late. On New Year's Eve, he and his friend collected trees that had been discarded in gutters. When Lydia got up on New Year's Day, there was a whole forest of Christmas trees in their small two-room flat.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday - An Old-fashioned Christmas

These postcards were printed in Germany and published by Fredrik Peterson of Boston around 1910. The greeting "Lycklig Jul" is in Swedish.

The last postcard has this message:

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We got home alright Friday night but was pretty near froze to death. The boys are shaking the table so I can hardly write. I have just finished writing a letter to my cousin. I just had a long letter from her. My I am glad because we don't have to go to school now for two weeks.

I'm participating in
Vintage Christmas Mondays.

Also see my December
Vintage Thingies Thursdays posts for more vintage Christmas stuff.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

PFF - Greetings From the North Pole

This postcard shows Santa with one of his lead reindeer, Donder, at the North Pole. The U. S. Post Office at North Pole, N. Y. is in the background. This is a vintage view. The Santa's Workshop at North Pole N. Y. website shows a different building housing the Post Office now. A special holiday cancellation is available from the North Pole Post Office from Mid-November through Mid-January. Regular North Pole cancellations are also available.

North Pole, N. Y. is not the only North Pole home of Santa. He can also be found at North Pole, Alaska and North Pole, Colorado.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

VTT - Christmas Postcard & Shakers

This Christmas carols postcard was published by Whitney, probably in the 1920s. The Christmas salt and pepper shakers are probably from the 1950s or 1960s.

The caroling shakers have a silver palette-shaped Napco label with "a Napco Ceramic Japan." The pair of Mr. and Mrs. Santa shakers on the left just have a Japan label. The pair of Mr. and Mrs. Santa shakers on the right are marked "Lefton 1957."

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday - Czech Christmas Postcards & Traditions

These Czech Christmas postcards are not dated but are probably from the 1970s. All except one have writing in a foreign language on the back, but none are postally used. The printed greetings on the back include Radostné Vánoce (Merry Christmas), Štastný nový rok (Happy New Year), and Vánoční pozdrav (Christmas Greeting).

Czech Christmas trees are usually decorated on one of the two days before Christmas, and are taken down on January 6 (the feast of the Three Kings). At first the trees were decorated with apples, gingerbread, nuts, candles and straw decorations, and were topped with a star. Glass decorations later became common.

The next card shows a vánočka, a traditional sweet bread of braided dough. The tabletop wreath is similar to an advent wreath, but traditional advent wreaths have only four candles, one of which is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. The wreaths are usually made of conifer branches and are decorated with cones, berries, and other materials.

The next card illustrates two traditional Czech customs. In the first custom, each person cuts an apple in half crosswise after Christmas Eve dinner. A core that looks like a five-pointed star is lucky and foretells good health and happiness in the next year. A star with four points means that illness is expected. A cross is even worse. In the second custom, little candles in walnut shell halves are floated in water to foretell the future of their owners. A candle that burns a long time predicts a long and happy life. If the little walnut boat stays close to the edge of the bowl, its owner will stay home.

Nativity scenes are one of the oldest Czech Christmas traditions. The nativities recreate the manger at Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Many different types of materials are used for scenes of various sizes.

I'm participating in Vintage Christmas Mondays.
Also see my December Vintage Thingies Thursdays posts for more vintage Christmas stuff.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

PFF - Rural Letter Carrier - Christmas Wish for You

This is a postcard made for rural letter carriers, circa 1911. The name of a letter carrier is printed over the picture of the house. If you look closely, you can see some tiny letter under the poinsettias and a mail box on the fence.

This is the poem printed on the back of the postcard:


The Star that shown o'er Bethlehem
Near two thousand years now gone,
Is shining just as brightly still --
May it kindly lead you on.

The Heavenly Choir that proclaimed
"Glad Tidings" to unnumbered throngs,
Is singing just as sweetly yet --
May it sing for you glad songs.

The voice that taught from Gallilee
In accents low, is speaking still
For "Peace on Earth" to all mankind --
May it speak for you "Good Will."

May all your Christmas Joys and friends
Be lasting, firm and true.
This is my wish for you my friend.
My Christmas wish for you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

VTT - Yesterdays' Holidays

Today's postcard is one of the prettiest Christmas postcards I have. It was published by PFB early in the twentieth century. I think it really captures the feeling of what I imagine an old-fashioned Christmas was like.

The pages below are from the 1957
An American Annual of Christmas Literature and Art published by Augsburg Publishing House of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The picture opposite the title page shows a "modern" Christmas at Grandmother's House.

The other pages are a picture story by the artist
Lee Mero in the form of old timers' reminiscences about Christmases "way back when." I hope you have time to read the story. I think it is interesting to see how the "modern" 1950s are compared to earlier times. Now, more than fifty years later, the 1950s are "way back when."

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday - Nimble Nicks

Nimble Nicks are little Santa's helpers created for use on postcards and other paper products by the Whitney company of Worcester, Massachusetts. The Nimble Nicks wear little hooded Santa suits. They have holly leaf wings in back and a blonde curl in the middle of their foreheads. They are childlike in appearance, but are smaller than real children.

The Nimble Nicks postcards were probably made between 1915 and the early 1920s. Three of the Nimble Nicks postcards shown here are dated 1916.

Whitney postcards are usually referred to as "Whitney Made" because of the Whitney Made/Worcester Massachusetts postcard logo on the back of the card. The majority of Whitney Made postcards are lightly embossed and feature cute children. The postcards were manufactured in the United states, mostly somewhat later than the imported holiday postcards that were popular during the postcard fad years before World War I.

I'm participating in Vintage Christmas Mondays.
Also see my December Vintage Thingies Thursdays posts for more vintage Christmas stuff.

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