About Postcard Art :|
The whole purpose of this site is threefold. First, to get out the " good word " regarding the fine art found on many postcards. Secondly, to enlarge postcards to a size and to a format where they can be displayed and appreciated. Finally, to provide high quality art at a reasonable price.
Dating postcards in general terms, give or take two decades, is pretty easy. Dating them accurately to within a year or two can be difficult, if not impossible.
General dating techniques.
Examining the postcard itself, by its format or/and content, is the first step in the dating process, and is quite straightforward. Generally speaking, postcards fall into half-dozen easily recognizable categories. The style of the earliest cards was driven by governmental regulation, then, as these regulations eased, by the taste of the postcard buying public.
Among collectors, postcards are categorized as follows:
Private Mailing Card (PMC).
This is the earliest type of common postcard. These were used between 1898 and 1901. Private Mailing Cards will say so, usually on the back (reverse) side of the card. No message was allowed on either side of these cards.
Undivided Back: If there is no division on the back of the card, separating the space for the address from the space for the message, that card could have been printed before 1907. The earliest of these cards had no place for messages, and technically, you were supposed to restrict yourself to the name and address of the intended recipient. Senders oftentimes wrote all over the face (front) of the card. We hate that! Eventually, as restrictions relaxed, postcard manufacturers left some " white space " on the face of the card, usually along the bottom, or up the right side.
Undivided back cards are prized for their incredible detail, and early publishers like Rotograph are justly popular for that reason.
Many times, if we have " hand tinted " in the description of an image, the original image was black-and-white, which was then hand tinted.