Collectible postcards are a great hobby to get into. The range of collectible postcards, with so many varying subjects to be collected, is immense. There are all kinds of variants for a collection. First of all you could choose different subjects or categories such as Transport, Royalty, Places of Interest, Pets, Flowers, Trains, Buses, Ships, Edwardian Scenes, Butterflies or Comical Fun. Those of value could be amongst any of these or other categories. For example, old photographs taken of old villages are far more valuable than pictures taken of the same place last year. Similarly postcards of The Titanic are possibly worth more than The Queen Mary, depending on their authenticity, of course! Collectible postcards can range in value from a few pence to hundreds of pounds. Of course, many collectable postcards that you will find in charity shops and car boot sales will be valued in pence rather than in pounds. The rare ones that are highly sought after will be worth a lot more, though of course, they won’t be easy to spot for a beginner!
Postcards were very popular at the turn of the 20th century, and were an International craze that flourished all over the world. There are many different styles of collectible postcards as well as categories of subject, such as ‘hold to light’ postcards which, not very surprisingly, you hold up to the light so that you can see through them as if they were made of tissue paper. Another popular style was the ‘fold out’ postcard which had many photos on and dropped down when opened. They were often made of several different types of materials, including silk, wood and aluminium and these were often printed on silk or linen that was covered around with cardboard as novelty collectible postcards.
These are definitely rarities these days and would be of considerable value if found in good condition. The joy of stumbling on such a piece of workmanship is what makes collecting postcards so worthwhile and enjoyable.
For many people the fun in collecting postcards is to be found in choosing a particular subject matter that interests them and then sourcing places to find those specific examples. Top of the range collectable postcard types include Art Nouveau and Photographic Social History including beach scenes. Edwardian, and Victorian eras are also very popular and these often carry a fun element to them.
Once researched, the serious collector is interested in finding a rarity amongst any of these categories. But for many others the collectible postcard hobby simply opens up a whole new world of experiences when they can be collected from other countries around the world. Many people send postcards to each other when on holiday but have you ever thought of buying some for yourself?
Collectible postcards are of more value when kept in great condition. If they have passed through the postal system, then they may be of more interest; but if they are dog-eared or creased then they will be of less value. Collectible postcards pre 1902 usually came without the divided back you see in the newer ones and are quite valuable, especially if they have passed through the post.
Collectible postcard websites and catalogues can give you a feel of what they are worth and what you should be looking for if you are looking for the rarer types. Many of the online auction sites are a great place to source collectible postcards and you can buy them from only a few pence so it is doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. Learning as you go and gaining good experience all the time is what will count the most for your collectible postcard hobby to become an investment opportunity as well.