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What are Hand Painted Postcards, they come from an earlier time period when artists would Draw and color individual Postcards? They were unique, one of a kind. Each one is done with the skills of their maker drawn on a Postcard for others to enjoy. These are not to be confused with Hand Colored or Hand Tinted Postcards. We will explore all these in the following.
A Hand Painted Postcard, refers to an individual piece of artwork that has been drawn and painted on a piece of material, most common material was Paper but also done on Wood and Leather. When similar cards were made since they were all done individually, each one would have minute differences. Artists from Britan, Scotland, France, the United States, Japan, and China, Germany produced them. The ones From China and Japan being the most common.
Authentic Hand Drawn Postcards
These Postcards are called by different names – referring to the same type of Postcard
Vintage hand-painted postcards
Antique hand-painted postcards
German hand-painted postcards
Japanese hand-painted postcards
Chinese hand Painted Postcards
Hand-painted photo postcards
Hand-painted postcard art
Individual items – – Each one was done single, as an artist would do a miniature portrait. Great Skill and Patience was required to be able to capture scenes and images. many of these are landscape, flowers, Trees, Ocean scenes and Mountains.
Often done on standard postcards blanks, some with imprinted postage. – You can find many that have the postal service they used imprinted on the address sides of the postcards. The opposite sides were Blank which allowed the artist to draw or paint the scene or objects he desired.
Some on blank cardboard on both sides, strong durable card stock, others were done on thin wafer size wood and some on Leather.
It did not take long for Business people to realize that they were missing a business opportunity, so some of the printed side before the card would be drawn, would place advertizement. Some blank one side and advertizing the other
The uniqueness of individual pieces – even when picturing the same scene slightly different. added then and now to their rarity – some were Hand Painted Easter Cards, Some were Haaqnd Painted Christmas Cards.
Paul Müller-Kaempff ( 1861- 1940 )
Germain by Birth
He was also an accomplished lithographer
On a Hike in 1889, he discovered a secluded fishing village named Ahrenshoop
He Moved there and began a Painting School of St Lucas in 1894
Müller-Kaempff was a successful landscape artist. He produced watercolors, pastels, and drawings as well as furniture designs and a multitude of postcards
Another type of hand Painted postcards were made differently – series made to order used stencils – water-based colors – 1911 – These have been also called opaque white cards
German collector Kurt Droege has collected many examples of Hand Painted Postcards
Antique Vintage hand-painted Postcards many were done in Japan, many times by women
Akasha Art Company Fine Art Company Yokrama Japan produced many Hand Painted Picture Postcards
French artist did many hand-painted postcards also
many of these are made from regularly printed postcards, many time image is black and white or lightly printed. Originally black and white – that then was colored by hand with, inks, colors, airbrush
Hand Colored / Tinted Postcards are not unique. Many of the were produced in mass and then colored with the various process. This was at a time that technology was not available to mass-produce them
Postcards were done by applying hand coloring materials, inks, colors to produce the postcards. At the time labor was cheap, many needed work. much of the labor was done by women.
Much of the Hand coloring and tinted was done with used water-based paints. The water-based colors did not damage the card, whereas sometimes, oil paint could damage the card and as it an aged crack.
There were various tools and methods that workers applied to the coloring. Methods – Brushes – fingers – cotton swabs – airbrushes – See Video at end of Article considered low skill work – a lot done by women
Large numbers of workers were used to Production line set up, with each station applying different color – expert at end of the line to finish and touch up with all colors –
hand coloring was a financial decision when more economical ways developed doing by hand faded
Hand Colored On Back address side of postcards was at times also done
Common practice around 1902
Hand Coloring has faded from popularity by the 1930s with the coming of more technology
Collo type prints – hight image detail was perfect for the adding of color to the images.
List of some of the publishers and artist – that Hand Produced Hand Colored Postcards
Ships and Lantern A F Blodgett Lavallette New Jersey
In 1892 Robert Koehler returned to New York City to work as a portrait artist
Marikina Shiba Tokyo
Metropolitan news company Boston Massachusetts ( and Germany)
Robson Brothers – stationers Maryland
G H Lewis West Sand Lake New York
C H Hughes
Lewis Services Incorporated Panama City Panama
WB Clark Company Tremont Street Boston Mass
Collo type prints – hight image detail
History of Hand Painted Postcards
History of Antique Hand Painted Postcards in the pre-1900 era
The first, hand-colored daguerreotypes are attributed to Swiss painter and printmaker Johann Baptist Isenring, ( 1796 – 1860)
Johann Baptist Isenring, ( 1796 – 1860)
Johann was born in Switzerland in 1796
He began his training as carpenter’s apprentice
As he got Older Johann enrolled in the Munich Academy to study painting in Germany
Later in his life, he moved back to Munich, where opened a portrait studio specializing in color daguerreotype portraits in the summer of 1841.
That was short-lived and he began to follow his passion and then began life as an itinerant wandering photographer in 1842
Hand coloring was applied to monochrome photos were very popular at the time so the pictures were perfect being black and white, providing the need to add coloring to give them a natural appearance
Another process was applying color powder to the images and applying heat to have it activate and adhere to the postcards
Japanese hand Coloring pre-printed postcards, black and white photos – we can find many of these fine postcards that are collected today
Hand Coloring was first First introduced in Europe, Especially Germany, but quickly gained acceptance and popularity in Japan
It began a serious business in Japan during the 1860s
On the Island of Japan First introduced by Charles Parker and William Parke Andrew
Charles Parker ( 1845 –
He was an English photographer, Charles Parker According to the Japan Herald of May 30, 1864, William Parke Andrew, a British artist, formed a partnership with Parker known as Messrs C. Parker and Company
first to consistently employ hand-coloring in the country where the photographer Felice Beato ( 1832 – 1909 )
One of the First Photographers taking photos of Asia.
He was also a War Photographer – Indian Rebellion of 1857 – Second Opium War
he is especially noted for his images of landscapes of Asia and Mederteraanian.
The skills of Japanese watercolorists and woodblock printmakers were successfully applied to European photography,
He was one of the early photographers in Japan to use hand-coloring was Yokoyama Matsusaburō
Yokoyama was not only a photographer but also an artist, lithographer, and teacher.
At age 15 he was an apprentice to a kimono dealer
Years later he developed an interest in Painting and became an assistant to the Russian painter Lehman
Yokoyama was the first Japanese photographer to seriously pursue stereographic photography
He was sick with tuberculosis when he was older and is especially noted for his Landscapes and Portraits
the firm of Stillfried & Andersen, which acquired Beato’s studio in 1877
History of Antique Hand Painted Postcards post-1900
Hand-colouring remained the easiest and most effective method to produce full-color photographic images until the mid-20th century when American Kodak introduced Kodachrome color film.
the golden age of hand-colored photography in the western hemisphere occurred between 1900 and 1940
By the 1950s, the availability of color film all but stopped the production of hand-colored photographs
How to make Hand Painted Postcards the Materials and techniques needed
Hand-painted Postcards made from Wood
During that time in history, a lot of slang developed to described wood postcards, nicknames and also as a sales aid, oak-a – Postcards made of Oak
Slang terms for Wooden Postcards made from Walnut – You walnut regret it – Postcards made from Walnut
Catchy name for – Butternut delay – Postcards made from Butternut Wood
Wooden Postcards made in the state of Florida – Bowman Studios – made them from Cypress wood.
In Wisconsin a Canadian line of Postcards popped up named B.B. Quality Line in Wisconsin made Paul Bunyon Themed Postcards
How are Hand Painted Postcards made from Leather
Leather Postcards First made their appearance in 1903 – they did not last long because of the difficulty in processing them through the mail system
The U.S. post office officially banned leather postcards in 1907 because they jammed postage-canceling machines
The Hand Painted and burned etched Postcards Continued to be made until 1910 then production stopped
Leather PostcardsContinued to be sold until 1915
Hand-Painted Leather Postcards Usually Made of Deer Hyde
Another method of putting text and images on the leather was called pyrography – Burning message in the deer hyde
One of the tools used for pyrography was called a poker – it was called pokerwork – also called “Writing with Fire”
Vegetable Tanned Hydes are used because of toxic fumes from the burning
The printing with Ink used for messages or images was used on leather – hand applied also
A Fad was sewing leather postcards together to make pillows
What is Wood Paper Pulp used for making Postcards
First Paper Made from wood pulp was made in the 1800s
Using wood pulp makes the material stock cheaper to produce
It came about at the same time we had the invention pf paper machines
The wood fiber sources required for pulping are “45% sawmill residue, 21% logs, and chips, that go into making wood pulp that is used for paper
The first papermill Opened in Roxboro Pennsylvania 1690
One of the Early Papermaking Machines was patented by John Gamble in England in 1803. It could produce a continuous 30 feet sheet long.
Rag pulp Paper – Called Rag Paper – made from cotton – has great properties that make it more resistant to deterioration.
High-quality cotton fiber paper is known to last hundreds of years without appreciable fading, discoloration, or deterioration
Cotton paper is graded by the amount of cotton it contains 25%, 50%, 75%
cotton is still used in specialty papers today because of its better characteristics
Wood Pulp Paper
WoodBlock Printing ( Japan and Europe )
Originated in China – found back to 220 AD
Printed first on textiles – later expanded to Paper
Woodblock is cut out as a relief pattern
To Understand Woodblock Printing Process watch This tutorial.
What tools are Needed for Traditional Wood Block Printing
Traditional Wood Chisels – Art of Carving wood
Hangatou – Knife with a bevel on it – also called a Gouge Carving Knife
Ko Dogu – Small Sculpting Carving Tools
Hanga Sagyodai – Bench Hook
Kizuchi – Wood Mallet
Inking Brushes – Japanese Inking Brushes were traditionally made from Coarse Horsehair
Hanga Bake – Printmaking Brush
Surikomi – Printing and Stenciling Brush
Maru Bake – rounded corner brush
Mizu Bake – watercolor Brush
Magari Mizu Brush – Bent Brush
Dosa Brush – Sizing Brush
Dragon Skin – Is used to soften the tips of the horsehair bristles
Konaunmo Powdered Mica – Has been used for centuries by Japanese Printmakers for centuries – gives a shimmering appearance when sprinkled over wet oil, or water-based print.
Hosho Paper – Hand made in Japan – Yamagooshi Family – Making it for over 300 Years
Nori – Brush Rice Paste – works as a dispersing agent when spread over a block gives the ink body and uniformity
Abarrin – to burnish – transfers pigment onto the print
Need approx 17 colors
What type of Ink is used in Japanese Wood Block Printing
What are the Water Colors that are used in WoodBlock Printing? watercolors – Holbein Paste Pigments, Akua Liquid Pigment, Bokuju – Black Ink, Red Sumi
What types of Oil Base Colors are used in Wood Block Printing – Akua Intaglio, Caligo Safe Wash Relief Ink, Gamblin Relief InkGamblin Textile Ink Outlaw Black Relief Ink
How to you Preserve Hand Painted Postcards Preservation
For Best Conditions and longevity need to be kept in a Controlled environment – Like Museums
Always wise to keep them in a moisture-free environment – cause oils to crack – Think of the longevity of the Mummy’s from Egypt
When you have dampness and dark this is a breeding place for molds to begin. They will destroy an Old Hand Painted Postcard.
Insect love to eat paper, since it is made from natural materials, wool, wood, cotton, fabrics – to a bug its thanksgiving day meal.
Even though we want to display our Hand Painted Postcards for the very best preservation it is the best Store away from direct sunlight – It causes images to darken
These Two artists/ Photographers were the first to introduce the craft as a commercial business to Japan
Charles Parker – first to introduce to japan
William Parke Andrew