Postcard Sizes And Types

Our Sites Consist of 95% Regular Size Postcards 3 1/2 X 5 1/2 (9 cm X 14 cm) 5% Continental Size Postcards 4X6 inches (15 cm X 10.5 cm) The Size of the Postcard is displayed on the Big Image after Clicking Thumbnail.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Antique Postcards© Used By Permission from Susan Brown Nicholson - Deltiology@aol.com

Postcard Sizes

Regular Size

Regular (or Standard) size: 3 1/2 X 5 1/2 (9 cm X 14 cm) Many of the older cards are of this size.

Continental Size

4X6 inches (15 cm X 10.5 cm) Many of the new cards you purchase today are of this size. Mostly published after the 1940's.

OverSized

Anything larger than a continental size. Mostly 5X7 inches, but some can be found in larger sizes. Although this size of cards is popular with postcard companies and tourists, many collectors do not want them because they are more expensive, not easily filed, cost more to mail, and harder to trade with others. The advantage is of course the more detailed view of the scenes shown on the cards.

Modern Size

These are about 6 1/2 X 4 3/4 inches. They are often classified as a smaller type of oversized card.

Postcard Types

View Cards

View cards have, since postcards began, been the mainstay of the collecting field. People have long collected and traded cards of their home towns and places they have visited. View cards offer historic reference to buildings, streets, and even towns which may no longer exist or that have changed significantly over time. Even views produced in the photochrome (chrome) era may no longer look the same. The earliest cards offer much in the social history of the times as we look at early forms of travel and the beginnings of telegraph, telephone and power lines. The messages written on the cards often give us insight as to the picture shown or the sentiments of the day.

Greeting Cards

The greeting card is almost as basic as the view card in the earlier eras, though as the time graph has shown, its popularity declined in later era's. Christmas, Easter, Birthdays and most other holidays and special occasions were well represented and are fairly common. However some greetings such as the "Labor Day" cards, are considered scarce. Today most collectors choose a topic within a specific holiday in order to limit their searches. For example some choose Christmas cards depicting Santa in green robes only. Early greeting cards are some of the most beautiful cards every printed. Publishers competing for sales, printed cards using intricate embossing techniques, high caliber art work, superior inks, expensive lithographic processes and even novelty additions such as glitter, ribbons, metal, silk and feathers.

Historical Cards

Historical cards are printed to commemorate events such as war, social problems, expositions, parades, coronations, politics and so on. These cards offer much to the serious collector in the way of increased value. This is a wide open field with much to offer anyone interested in twentieth century history. Often this type of card was made of a real photograph with few copies being offered for sale. This is especially true of disaster cards depicting floods, fires, wrecks, etc. Often the historical significance of a card comes form the message written by the sender.

Art Cards

The art card is probably the most important category in antique postcards. Unlike the view or greeting card, most art cards were special interest cards when they were printed and in most cases brought a much higher price. This rarity, combined with the skill of the artist of this period, make these cards very popular among collectors today. To better understand this popularity, think of these cards as 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" original high quality prints, which they are, instead of as postcards. No where in the world of art, does such quality material exist at such low prices. The postcard market, in the first decade of this century, was a very large business. Over 0,000,000 in pre-inflation dollars! This booming market drew the very best artists of the period, creating a wealth of quality material unmatched in the art world. Also at this time, some German publishers produced a series of "Old Master" art reproductions, the card's intensity and depth of color is without parallel as they spared no expense in printing the best.

Photographic Cards

Coming into their own recognition as art cards are the fantastic photographic art cards. These real photo art studies of beautiful women, children, lovers, etc., are often hand tinted in great detail and in colors which almost defy description. Also made popular were the photomontage techniques which allows photos to be altered into original art creations.

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