Posted in Artist Drawn

Another one that got away..

A Day at the Bog” by L. Murdoch sold eBay 13/8/2017 for £6.60.

I let this one go today, it wasn’t a thing of beauty but I half wanted it just for the sake of completeness. A hand-coloured card with no indication as to the publisher and a poor representation of the artist’s work. Presumably from the late 1930’s and shortly before the advent of colour photography swept away the awful hand-coloured process.  Still my heart wasn’t it and so I let it go.

Posted in Curiosities

Panoramic Giants by Raphael Tuck & Sons

I had never come across this type of card until today when I stumbled across two of them on Etsy. Measuring an incredible 3.5 in x 11 in they must have been difficult to send through the mail without suffering damage. According to the Tuck Database they date from 1907 and were issued as a set of six. Reasonably priced at €9 each plus shipping (from the USA) I decided not to take the risk of damage – even in a card backed envelope. If you’re interested they are here.

Posted in Scholastic Productions

More Art from Scholastic Productions

I recently picked up these four unused Scholastic cards from a US seller on eBay – all of €4.60 including postage. No artists signatures on any of them, or series numbers, but at least all are titled! Three of them I hadn’t seen before and the strange “A Farmyard Scene” – noted previously but not one that I would have really wanted – and only purchased as it was so cheap.


Left to right clockwise:A Farmyard Scene“; “The Bridge in the Woods“; “The Road to the Mountains” and “The Edge of the Lake“.

Any clues to the artist(s) identity would be welcomed.

Posted in Hand Painted

Strange but not a thing of beauty!


I came across this unusual card on eBay last week and was slightly baffled by it. At first glance it seems to be hand-painted and yet it has what appears to be printed titles. I contacted the seller and it turned out to be a Lawrence card which had been over-painted. It sold for £7.51 – I wasn’t tempted!

Posted in Curiosities, Jotter

Mystery artist…

I have been making steady progress with my collection of hand-painted postcards, and have picked up several nice examples in recent weeks. Last week I purchased the two attractive cards – below – as soon as I came across them online.

Blackhead by Jotter identical to my handpainted one - Copy

Glenarm Castle Jotter

At the time I knew at once that I had to have them as they were good quality, of locations that I collect and there was just something about them. However, when I got them into my hand they seemed strangely familiar. When I compared them with my “Jotter” cards of the same locations – bingo! It was the skeletal figures in both the “Jotter” and the hand-painted cards that stand out and then everything else falls into place. Some birds and a figure are missing in the Black Head card, and the sky is totally different (and superior?) in the hand-painted Glenarm Castle card. The details of the Barbican are slightly different too, but the fisherman, his companion, and spectator on the bridge are on both cards. Click on images to enlarge.

The hand-painted cards are without doubt faithful copies of the “Jotter” postcards – above left – albeit with a certain artistic licence. Who was the artist? The only clue as to their identity are the initials JB (?) on the bottom right hand corner of both cards. The initials look like the numerals 93 on the Black Head card but on the Glenarm Castle card they are tight together and clearly initials.

The “Jotter” cards appeared as part of a set of six first published in 1908/09 by Raphael Tuck & Sons in their “Emerald Isle” series. I suspect that my two hand-painted cards date from roughly the same period. I would very much welcome any help with this mystery.

Posted in Curiosities, Humour, Wrench

Ireland’s answer to J P Morgan!

Old Man 4 blog

I had to have this card – don’t know why, just something about it. I normally only collect topographical Irish cards published by Wrench but this has such an innocent ‘devil-may-care’ charm about it. The same cannot be said for some of the others in the series which are borderline racist. All the more surprising, given that Evelyn Wrench was from Ireland but, perhaps, not of Ireland. Anyway, I’m going to do something with this old fella – not sure what but he’s going to get another airing somewhere. This particular card was posted in England on the 12th August 1905.

The Payrrpoint Morrgin/J P Morgan referred to on the card was the famous American banker about whom more information than you could shake a stick at may be found here.

Posted in Troubles

Postcards of the Easter Rising by Edward Margiotta

Postcards of the Easter Rising Stenlake Publishing

If you’re baulking at the prices being asked for postcards of the Easter Rising you may like to consider this book published at the end of 2015 by Stenlake Publishing (Scotland) as a good alternative.

From the publisher’s blurb:

Essentially the book is a narrative about the Easter Rising of 1916 liberally illustrated with original picture postcard images. The Rising and its immediate aftermath were comprehensively recorded by photographers and postcards of the events and personalities involved were quickly published. The author has probably the most extensive collection of these cards and 244 of them are shown in the book which also deals with the War of Independence, Treaty Conference and the Civil War. Also included are chapters on the postcard publishers themselves with details of these firms’ history and the cards they published for the Rising.

ISBN : 9781840336931

Available here:

Posted in Military, Troubles

Centenary of 1916 Rising produces a frenzy of postcard selling

In recent months as the centenary of ‘The Rising’ approached a plethora of cards have been appearing for sale online and in salerooms. The black and white cards produced at the time do little for me as the pictures have appeared in numerous publications over the years. However, I include a selection below.

The destruction of Sackville/O’Connell Street

The Imperial Hotel Dublin - Copy

Much of the destruction of the street was – apparently – caused by British shelling in particular from the “Helga” gunboat on the Liffey. Miraculously the Nelson Pillar came through unscathed despite its proximity to the rebel HQ in the GPO.

1916 Sackville St in flames

An Eason & Son card using a Daily Sketch photograph presents a nightmarish scene. Note the incorrect date on the card.

Sinn Fein Rebellion

Dublin’s citizens survey the aftermath of the rebellion.

Daily Sketch photo Eason card possibly1916 Captured Flag

Two very staged cards published by Eason & Son. I can’t identify the street on the first card but the flag scene is clearly at the base of the Parnell monument.

I’m all 1916-ed out now, but for those of you who want more information  “Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion” by Charles Townshend is highly recommended.



Posted in Military, Troubles

Larne gun-running postcard fetches a hefty price!

Larne Gun Running FINAL - Copy

The Larne gun-running incident saw a major importation of weapons from Germany to equip the recently formed Ulster Volunteer Force. The UVF were determined to prevent the implementation of Home Rule in Ireland and urgently needed weapons for their 90,000 strong ‘army‘. Thus it was that in the wee small hours of the 25th April, 1914 almost 25,000 rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition were landed at Larne, Bangor and Donaghadee.

This artist card, posted barely two weeks after the event, captures well the scene as it must have unfolded at Bangor Harbour. Unsurprisingly no artist or publisher is indicated. The card was sold on eBay on the 18/3/16, fetching a tidy £148.66, and probably would have gone for more in an Irish saleroom. Start searching the attic!

Further information here: Larne Gun-Running

Yesterday (17/5/16) I spotted another card from the same stable on eBay, but of poorer quality and condition. Here it is below for your delectation.

Ulster Gun Running

Posted in Castles, Celtic Tiger, Hotel, Troubles

Dunboy Castle a Celtic Tiger Survivor…

Dunboy Castle Castletown Berehaven LAWRENCEDunboy Castle deep in West Cork, on the Beara Peninsula, for many years a spectacular ruin was rebuilt during the height of the Celtic Tiger madness. It was intended that the castle would become a luxury 100-bedroom hotel, but the 2007 economic collapse intervened before the project could be completed. Today the semi-restored castle remains as a monument to the boom and with a far from certain future.

More here: Castles in the Air – Irish Examiner

Postcard by W.Lawrence, Dublin.

Dunboy Before + After

Left to right: A view of the castle during its lengthy period as a ruin and a more recent picture of its reincarnation. I have cropped the view of the ghastly, obligatory additional accommodation block!

The castle as it is presently constituted incorporates the fabric of an earlier house on the site dating from the 1740s, an extensive rebuild in the 1860s for Henry Lavallin-Puxley and, of course, the €50 million (!)) rebuild during the early noughties.

The castle was burnt by the IRA during the Troubles in June 1921 and the Puxley family took what compensation was on offer and left the country.

Daphne du Maurier’s 1943 novel Hungry Hill was based on the lives of the Puxley family of Dunboy Castle, their wealth generated from copper mining at nearby Allihies and the curse put on the family. Though the characters and placenames have been changed there’s no doubting where the inspiration for the novel came. In 1947 ‘Hungry Hill’ was made into a now long forgotten feature film by Brian Desmond Hurst starring Margaret Lockwood, Denis Price and Jean Simmons.

Hungry Hill poster

Another interesting piece about the early history and legends surrounding the castle: