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.
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.