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A Sad Story of Stolen Postcards

February 22nd, 2008 · 3 Comments

Halloween Postcard by Samuel Schmucker, Noted Postcard Artist

We were asked this week to appraise an interesting lot of old postcards. They had been stolen from an insurance company’s client, and then discarded by the thief along a busy road in rainy conditions. Sadly, all of the postcards were ruined and sustained the same type of damage: gritty soiling, heavy surface pockmarking and, in some instances, paper weakness and separation. This was due to the combination of having been exposed to the elements and additionally run over by automobiles. While many of the antique postcards were unremarkable, there were two notable exceptions. The postcard seen above is a highly collectible Samuel Schmucker Halloween postcard, showing 13 white-robed children carrying 13 pumpkins and offering “Halloween Greetings.”

Black Americana Postcard Published by Raphael Tuck

The other interesting vintage postcard was published by noted publisher Raphael Tuck & Sons of London, England. The antique postcard, from his “Crocodile Bait” series, depicts “Seaside Coons” consisting of eight stereotyped black children at the beach. The circumstances of the appraisal were unusual, and serve as a reminder to get your postcards appraised and keep them secured. Sadly, it only takes a moment for them to be rendered worthless.

Learn about the Civil Rights movement as seen in vintage postcards, or see more black Americana and Halloween postcards.

Copyright ©2008

Tags: Postcards

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Maria // Feb 23, 2009 at 1:12 am

    I’m hoping maybe you can help me.  A few years ago while living in Las Vegas, my daughter and I went to an antique store.  My daughter was going thru some boxes that had been brought in from a house that had caught on fire and a few of the boxes that apparently were in the attic were salvaged.  While looking thru the boxes, my daughter picked up a postcard (in very conditions) that was from Estee Lauder to a friend by the name of Mildred Fitzwilliam.  The post card is dated 1955 Would you know where I can have this postcard appraised?  I would truly like to hear from you.


  • 2 VintagePostcards // Mar 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Maria,

    What an interesting find!  :)   I’m not sure where to get this one appraised, as the value is in the signature of the celebrity.  An autograph dealer might be able to help you out.  Good luck, and thanks for sharing!

  • 3 Al Evans // Mar 25, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I read you article on the above mentioned thirteen white robed girls carrying thirteen pumpkins postcard.
    I have a fairly large collection of holloween postcards, including the above mentioned card if anyone is interested. 

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