Discontinued Collectibles Guide

Postcard & Picture Postcard Collectibles

Collecting postcards

When we think of postcards as collectibles we naturally think of picture postcards. Plain postcards used for conveying simple messages which could be read without having to open an envelope may be collectable. Depending on the message, the sender and the addressee, some may have considerable historic significance. Any such card would be a "find" indeed!

Postcards can be a very useful means of dealing with mass replies. Organisers of competitions in magazines and for promotional purposes love them! "Answers on a postcard please" became the competition world’s catchphrase which has spread into general use, especially when asking a rhetorical question!

Then there are the Indian postcards. In 1879, when India was the jewel in the British Empire’s crown, the Indian Post Office introduced a system of postcards which could be bought for1 paise or 1/4 of an anna (8 annas to 1 rupee) which was equivalent to just under a farthing. That would be about 0.105p in Britain today (ignoring inflation!). Postage was included so there was no stamp to be bought and the cards could be used to communicate with anyone, anywhere in British India. The native population took this system to its heart and such was its popularity that it still operates to this day in what is now the independent Republic of India. Decimalisation of the currency in 1957 changed the value of the rupee and the anna is no longer in use. Today a letter card costs 2.5 rupees which at current exchange rates equates to slightly less than 2.5 pence in Britain. Early examples of the cards may well be collectible.

In 1894 in Britain, the Royal Mail first allowed picture postcards of approved dimensions and design, to be sent through the post bearing a 0.5 stamp, half the cost of a letter and more than twice the price of the Indian letter cards. They immediately proved very popular, especially as travel around the country for the masses had recently become far more accessible with the growth of the rail network.

Picture postcards became collectable almost immediately they were introduced and have remained so ever since. Whatever your particular field of interest may be, there are picture postcards connected with it. If you’re collecting for investment it may be best to look out for cards that will interest collectors of more than one genre. As always, condition is everything.

On each of the pages within this section dedicated to Postcards collectibles we have included links to live and current online auctions dealing in each theme. In addition, where known, we have added details of collector clubs, forums and websites. We wish you every success in tracking down the missing pieces of your discontinued Postcards collection and hope you will become a regular visitor to Accumulations. Remember it’s an ever-changing scene so it is always worth a return visit!

If you are interested in a specific type or genre of Postcards collectible, click on one of the following links:-

Seaside Postcards

Please also check out the Postcards Books, Related Dealers and Useful Resources listed on this page.

Our Beautiful Sponsors