In considering the limited space we have in our house (two adult collectors and children we are grooming for such activities), I’m reconsidering something I’ve not previously given much thought to personally before: postcards.
In general I’m a paper (ephemera) lover, but postcards, with their expected size and their relatively common themes never appealed much to me before. Sure, I have saved a few antique photograph portrait postcards because I must adopt these orphans, and I’ve coveted some rather rare risqué postcards — but price kept those safely out of reach. But honestly, I didn’t collect postcards. Until now.
Hubby may say that he’s finally won me over to his love of postcards, but I’m falling in love with postcards for more practical reasons — their size and versatility.
Their small size means I can (too) easily rationalize starting another collection because even with a hundred of them, I am only adding another book to my (already overflowing) shelves. And it’s easy to do because postcards cover unlimited categories.
Collect vintage lingerie? Bam! There are postcards with those images. Holidays? Those too.
Feline fancier? Here you go, plenty of cute kittens and cats. Or maybe you’re a dog person? No problem. There are postcards of dogs and puppies, puppies with kittens — even postcards featuring dogs and lingerie. (There may even be postcards with dogs wearing lingerie; I didn’t look.)
When at auctions or estate sales, don’t hesitate to ask if you can get a bulk discount. Offer to buy all the cards for one lower-per-card price and even if you have postcards in poor condition, in areas you are not interested in, or even duplicates, that’s OK. You can re-sell or trade those with another collector. (And if they are really damaged, even folks who create altered art may be interested!)
You can’t go wrong with a box of old postcards.
Even those with more modern interests can find postcards to interest them.
Hubby recently grabbed me this postcard from OfficeMax because I love the ‘Rubberband Man,’ Eddie Steeples, who is now “Crab Man” on My Name Is Earl. (That could be worth something someday!)
In fact, postcards are likely in your mailbox right now. (Go look. I’ll wait.)
Once you start looking at all the possibilities on the small 5 x 3.5 (or a tad larger) inches, you suddenly see that’s a lot of real estate there… Even if it takes up a small amount of room.
Storing postcards is easy. Simply get some binders, some postcard pages or sleeves to protect them, and not only do you have a nifty collection but one you can both easily store and show off without risking damages (even with the little fingers of children).
Boxes & binders also make for easy organization if you end up with more than one theme. And this is one collection you won’t need to dust.