The Art of Collecting Part 2

I love to collect! This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has ever stepped into my house. When I mention this “hobby”, however, in a new circle of friends, thoughts drift to expensive oil paintings, scary dolls or beanie babies in little plastic boxes and I am sure my hero gets a few sympathetic glances over a perceived draining of the family resources…let me set the record straight! It is posssible to have unique, beautiful and thoughtful collections without spending the kid’s college fund.  Let me share one of my favorites with you today…Victorian trade cards.  Easily found on eBay or in antique malls, these colorful cards can add a whimsical addition to your decorations at a modest cost.

Victorian trade cards are an early form of collectible advertising. Businesses began to offer the colorful cards after the Civil War. Because the cards were collected and often saved in albums, much like sports cards today, many have survived and offer a diverse look at popular culture and society in the late 1800s. Orginally printed in black and white, the advent of lithography made mass production in color possible. Trading cards exploded in popularity!


Trade cards usually had a picture on one side and an ad on the other. There were custom cards printed for specific products, and stock cards which could be used for any product. Trade cards were popular for medicines, sewing, and farm equipment, and a range of other products. Some rare Victorian trade cards are now worth thousands of dollars, but most can be snapped up at less than twenty dollars!


With so many available, it can be confusing to pick just the right ones. I found it helpful just to explore the different cards available online and see which ones always seemed to catch my eye, like my collection of Soapine cards. I was drawn to the French inspired illustrations.  The whale was their trademark and it did take a while to find a reasonably priced one.


Some remind me of happy times. This Hires Rootbeer card was found on our honeymoon to Maine.  His face just made me smile.


The Asian inspired cards are a recent collection….maybe a little Princesss has a thing or two to do with it!

N

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8 thoughts on “The Art of Collecting Part 2

  1. The Princess grows more beautiful week by week!! I think that I would just smother that darling face with kisses all day. She is growing up, isn’t she?! Love your collections. You have a marvelous array of the Victorian trade cards. I always collected things that I loved too. Thank-you for sharing more of your lovely treasures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish she would let me smother her with kisses. It has been all about being a big girl lately. Training for the teen years I guess. I just love the trade cards so much. Some can be not as politically correct as others but they do reflected a whole different era. I have my eye on a few on eBay.

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  2. I also have a love for collecting!
    I am lucky enough to have my families Victorian postcards. Most of them are used so I get a glimpse into the lives of family members I have never known. Not to mention the beautiful illustrations! So colorful even after more than 100 years.
    (Side note) as a mother of 4 kids and now grandma to grandkids, take this advice, get kisses when you can but steal a few when you must!
    Blessings to you,
    Minnie

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