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What are Bas Relief Postcards – Types of Vintage Postcards

Front Bas Relief Postcard

In Studying the Types of Collectible Postcards, one question that came up is What are Bias Relief Vintage Postcards


Bias Relief Postcards are postcards that were created in the early 1900s.  They were Created by Issac and Freeman Tabor in San Francisco and London Locations. They have unique characteristics.  They have a sculptured Front and Flatback.  Produced by Alliance LTD Publishers in London


History of Bias Relief Vintage Postcards


Bias relief – Definition:   Raised Sculpture work from a flat background – Todays we would describe it as 3 – D 

Bias relief Sculpture Wiki
Bias relief Sculpture Wiki



Bas Relief Postcards with a heavily raised surface, giving a paper-mâché appearance.  It is a specialized process that allows the back of the cards is flat / as imposed to embossed.  The Picture sid is Raised looking sculptured or 3-D.   Care needs to be taken in Shipping so that our letter sorting Processes do not damage in mailing.  They were Produced by a Company in London Great Britain.  Alliance Ltd had the patents and were the sole proprietor of the process.


Two Brothers Issac and Freeman Tabor

Issac Tabor was Born in New Bedford Massachusetts in 1830,  he went into Business With His Brother, Freeman Agustus Tabor.  He ran a studio in Syracuse,  New York

Tabor showed most of his work San Francisco Art Show

He Photographed Kalakaua King of Hawaii on a Pacific Cruise

In 1885 he developed a method for enlarging and printing fingerprints and he opened a factory for Dry Plates

In 1887 he opened a branch in  Tabor Bias Relief  Photography Syndicate in London

Alliance Ltd 1902. Publishers 115 Newgate Street London EC

Today it is a Post Card Gift Shop Called Cards Galore

The Alliance produced also items that included, Real Photos of Actors, actresses, Horses, Jockeys, and views of the river Thames. The firm was closely related to A G Scopes & Co which shared the patent for the process registered in 1908.

His Studio was totally Destroyed in the  San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.  Destroyed was also 80 Tons of Portrait Plate negatives.

Issac Passed away in his home in San Francisco in 1912


Characteristics Bias relief Postcards

  • Front

Bas Relief Postcards are Postcards that have been Manufactured with a Sculptured appearance.  They Have a raised 3 – D appearance of of Flat Postcard stock.  Some Describe it as a Paper mache look to it.  The front is raised, it is hard to see from a scan or image.  But it resembles an embossed card but it is different in how it was produced.

Front Bas Relief Postcard
Front Bas Relief Postcard


  • Dog Example of Bias Relief Front and Back 

  • Dated around 1905 this extremely rare bas-relief postcard was created with a unique process that allowed the back to be flat, while the dog’s head has a deeply embossed texture

  • Back

The Back of the Bias relief Postcard Has a completely Flatback, while the front is raised.  From the Back, it would resemble a normal Postcard.

Back of Bias Relief Postcard
Back of Bias Relief Postcard
  • Publishers

    • Alliance

    • A G Scopes & Co

Ebay’s Selection of Bas Relief Vintage Postcards – 324