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MOST UNUSUAL POSTCARDS
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Curated, delightful, sometimes eye-popping, refreshed often,
helping you to discover the fascination of postcard collecting.
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OUR MOST UNUSUAL POSTCARDS - THEN AND NOW
No other hobby presents more unusual sights than postcard collecting.
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ADVERTISING & MUSIC. "MAY PETERSON / SOPRANO--METROPOLITAN OPERA FAME / The Prima Donna who rode the Old Gray Mare / at St. Paul National Legion Convention / Concert Bookings: Write Haensel & Jones, Aeolian Hall, New York." unused & most unusual advertising postcard, circa 1924-5, several small spots of toning & wear at the borders of both sides. She sang for many seasons with the likes of Caruso & John McCormack. The Hall mentioned is located in Manhattan.
& SOUTH DAKOTA.
AVIATION (PROPELLER). "Another AIR EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL Service / Shipping a Beechcraft 'BONANZA' to Europe" advertising the services of forwarding agents who used the Seaboard & Western Airlines DC-4 (NC58008) shown here sometimes out of Laguardia & sometimes out of Newark, depending on the cargo. In this most unusual case, an airplane is being loaded onto another airplane. Mailed 1947 in New York City, the airline company's first year of operation. Loading was always done by hand in the early days, as shown here. Rare & early view for this important cargo airliner which had remarkable staying power over the years while its competitors failed.
BÉNIN & MACABRE. "Abomey, Bénin / Egoungoun [revenant] / Photo ©François Guibilato" unused continental postcard, minor wear at 2 corners, tiny spot near the stamp box. The costumed person is a member of a voodoo cult, supposedly becoming an animated corpse that has returned from the grave to help people who are alive. Several can be seen at special celebrations, including funerals, dancing & performing magic tricks, dispensing flattery & good wishes for donations. Egoungoun is also seen spelled egungun & egoun goun.
BICYCLE & ONTARIO. "High Falls Line 4/16/10" unused captioned sepia-tone Azo (triangles up) real photo postcard showing a well-dressed gentleman riding the rails on a bicycle stabilized by connections to 2 steel-flanged wheels on the opposite side--a variant of the Coey bicycle attachment (invented & marketed circa 1908) for which we have another offering. Compare the 1917 photograph of the Winton touring car & its passenger trailer, also on steel-flanged wheels, believed to be on this line, shown at www.trainweb.org. This mining line connected the hydroelectric plant at High Falls on the Spanish River to Turbine Ontario (from which Canadian Pacific Railway connections could be made to Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, etc.) Such vehicles could be operated for company employees & executives because no passenger trains would be encountered. Rare!
CALIFORNIA & ALBERTYPES. "MOVABLE PLANK ROAD THROUGH THE DESERT, NEAR EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA" unused hand-colored (and, hence, unique) Albertype postcard published by the Barbara Worth Hotel, tiny upper corner bend, The movable feature of the road shown is most unusual.
ENGLAND & UNUSUAL TRANSPORTATION. "Geo. M. Schilling / THE WORLD'S CHAMPION LONG / DISTANCE WALKER / NOW PULLING HIS AIRSHIP FOR 20,000 / MILES FOR A WAGER IN 3 YEARS. STARTED FROM LONDON FEB. 18th 1908." with signage that is redundant with the caption, unused postcard, light toning both sides, trivial corner wear. Hard-to-find--image or explanation. Apparently he pulled this most unusual contraption along on wheels as a mobile home & shelter from the elements, as part of his wager. An unusual way to make a living when postcards could be sent with a halfpenny stamp.
GREECE & TURKEY. "Départ des refugiées musulmanes de Salonique" also captioned in Greek, showing the departure of Ottoman Muslim refugees with their worldly possessions in large bags, boarding a train, during the population exchange that took place between Turkey & Greece in late 1922, after the Greco-Turkish War; unused carte postale from Editor D. Sonides in Salonika, light toning on back, minor corner & edge wear. Rare: no one else can show you this historic & unusual event.
JAPAN & CEMETERIES. "KIYOMORIZUKA HYOGO." also captioned in Japanese, unused carte postale made in Japan, minor corner rounding. Sometimes written Kiyomori-zuka, this unusual stone memorial column / tombstone is in the form of a 13-story pagoda, built in 1286.
KITES & MASSACHUSETTS. "MAN LIFTING KITES ON / HARVARD AVIATION / FIELD. // COPYRIGHT BY / ARAM." more fully 5 kites designed by Samuel F. Perkins for military reconnaissance purposes, being tried at Quincy Massachusetts, September 1910. The Library of Congress has the original photographs of the event & is the source of our information. Note the tent-like structure beneath the scout, intended to cushion any fall. The postcard itself is rare, as is any that deals with an experimental military program. Most unusual, you will have to admit.
MERMAIDS & MOVIES. "M. MAHAN & JACKSON / PRESENT / ANNETTE / Kellermann / 'THE PERFECT WOMAN' / AND A COMPANY OF 1000 PLAYERS / IN / NEPTUNE'S / DAUGHTER / THE FILM MASTERPIECE OF THE WORLD / ... / At the BREMEN / TUESDAY, APRIL 11th / HENNEGAN & CO. CINCINNATI, O." advertising on an unused undivided back postcard tabulating a detailed comparison of her measurements with the Venus de Milo! Viewers of 'Neptune's Daughter' saw her do the first nude scene ever on film. A record-holding swimmer, she performed another first--a water ballet that many credit as originating the sport of synchronized swimming. Known as 'The Original Mermaid', she performed such an act at the Princes Court entertainment center in Melbourne. Slightly longer than regular-size.
MOROCCO & INSECTS. "33 MARRAKECH - Place Djma el Fna - Vendeurs de sauterelles" showing vendors of grasshoppers (for food), well localized; unused carte postale from Cie Alsacienne des Arts Photomécaniques in Strasbourg, good edges. An alternative spelling for the place is Djemaa el Fna.
MUSEUM CONTENTS. "CONSERVATOIRE NATIONAL DES ARTS & MÉTIERS / 292, rue St-Martin, Paris / 14327 - Moteur rotatif à 5 cylindres à vapuers de pétrole, cons- / truit par M. Millet en 1887 et adapté à deux places. (Brevet no 194,953) Don de m. Félix Millet en 1910. B-90" unused carte postale with divided back, from C. Bouchetal phot.-édit., tiny bottom corner crease, other corner wear is trivial. This is an ingenious & patented 5-cylinder rotary engine that operates on petrol fumes; the intent was to motorize a tricycle. Rare: when searching the Internet we found only 1 mention in French, and no offers or displays.
NEW YEARS & ZEPPELINS. "Nouveau dirigeable / Pour l Année / 1905" fanciful & risqué art (signed Deb) showing a woman clad in naught but hosiery and shoes, piloting the carrot-shaped zeppelin (numbered 69) that she straddles while flying over the Eifel Tower! Unused carte postale, browning paper with a bit of light spotty toning both sides, tiny bottom corner crease, short faint internal crease well to the left of the image. The most unusual New Year postcard we have ever seen in anyone's stock.
THURINGIA & NUDE PAINTINGS. PHILIP HERMOGENES CALDERON (1833 - 1898). "Die Entsagung" his 1891 painting depicting the young Saint Elizabeth of Hungary's act of renunciation before a crucifix, nude & under the prayerful gaze of monks & nuns; unused Stengel-published postcard, made in Germany, minor corner wear & rounding. Now in the Tate Britain National Gallery of Art, it caused controversy because it was perceived by some as anti-Catholic. In German her name is seen as Heilige Elisabeth von Thüringen, because she was a princess of Thuringia.
TIBET. "Flight of Dalai Lama of Thibet" borne on the shoulders of 4 men surrounded by horsemen, going to India in 1959; well done home-made (and, hence, unique) postcard mailed 1963 at Silver Lake Minnesota, minor upper corner wear, small ding tears paper at the top edge but affects nothing of importance. A moving sight & most unusual subject matter!
WOMEN'S SOCIAL HISTORY & MICHIGAN. "'WESTHAVEN' GARDENS ON THE ST. CLAIR RIVER, PORT HURON, MICH., HOME OF MISS BINA M. WEST" black & white with sky tint, white-border era from Curt Teich, unused, lightly toned back. Founder in 1892 of one of the first fraternal benefit societies established for and managed by women, & an outspoken supporter of women's suffrage, she represented the National Council of Women of the US at the International Council of Women in Geneva in 1908. Undoubtedly this card was issued on the occasion of the dedication of the Society's new home office in 1917. Many people could not tell you who she is, but the fact that women can get life insurance these days is tribute to her legacy!
WORLD WAR I & BARBERS. "61. LES PRISONNIERS ALLEMANDS EN FORÉT -- Après la Barbe, la Toilette au ruisseau" showing German prisoners, guarded by the French in a forest, freshening up after receiving a haircut; black & white carte postale with green back, toning near back edges, faint corner crease, trivial rounding at 3 corners. Most unusual subject matter; presumably a propaganda piece to assure the world such soldiers were being well-treated.
ZEPPELIN & ANIMALS. "'SUSIE' / GRAF ZEPPELIN GORILLA / Is the first and only trained Gorilla in the world. Captured when six months old of the west coast of South Africa in the Belgian Congo. Taken / to the Riviera in France, where she remained / until the Graf zeppelin made its first trip to / America, on which she was a passenger... / ... placed in the Cincinnati / (Ohio) Zoo, where she is on exhibition ... / SUSIE WILL BE 16 YEARS OLD AUG. 4, 1942 / ..." 1939 copyrighted card with all-over-back details, sized as a regular postcard, unimportant light toning on back. Rare: there are several images of her -- white border around, wearing a hat, with her trainer, part of a folder, holding a baseball bat, etc. -- but this one is seldom offered.
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