Postcards: More than Pretty Pictures
inJanuary 28, 2013 - 9:51pm
Nine years ago our family business fell into postcard collecting and dealing after attending a local estate auction. We went looking for glass or pottery and came home with 10,000 postcards.
Today I love telling shop visitors that postcards are one of the top collectibles in the country. Generally the public doesn't view paper items as valuable. Even those who do may believe that deltiology is simply about pretty pictures. Over time I have learned that collectors purchase postcards for different reasons. Some buy postcards that fit into a larger collection of military, transportation, holidays etc. Others archive postal history, and their aim is to find good postmarks. Collectors may even search for postcards that historically document a geographical area. A postcard collection may be as narrow as Halloween or as general as U. S. town views. Postcards with writing and addresses sometimes provide genealogical evidence. Last year, a customer visited our brick and mortar shop. He scanned the Real Photos and found a relative’s baby picture. The printed clues of the photo studio location paired with hand written notes on the postcard helped him make a definitive identification.
My mother has become an avid collector of postcards from our area. Postcards are a fun way for her to relay local stories to customers and family as well as to preserve the images and history of her hometown. Small town postcards often realize higher prices than their urban counterparts due to a smaller supply/demand ratio.
General dealers may shy away from selling postcards, but they can be a great line of items sought after by cross-over and postcard collectors alike. They ship easily and require little storage space.Take a second look at postcard dealing and collecting. You might just fall in love - with the pretty pictures and the history behind them.