Collie Postcards

By Gayle Kaye

Postcards were first introduced in the late 1800's and quickly became a very poplar means of communication. Soon people were collecting them. In the old days it was very typical to find a postcard album sitting prominently on a table, in a Victorian parlor. Because of this many have been saved over the years and can be found in very good condition. Dogs were extremely popular during the Victorian era and none more so than the Collie! As a result Collies can frequently be found on beautiful cards as either the primary or secondary subject. He was a popular companion to children and beautiful ladies. Postcards are easily stored and still very affordable. They can be kept in albums or matted and framed for wall hanging. Typical postcard variations are "Real photos", "Studio photos", reproductions of oils and drawings or commissioned artwork. They also came in the form of greeting cards for birthdays and holidays. A popular usage was advertisement. Many old time kennels used postcards featuring their latest dogs or puppies. Since postcards have been around for more than 100 years, they can present a visual record of the breed's history and development. Sometimes famous artists were commissioned to do oil paintings or drawings of particuliar dogs. Many paintings were done for the sole purpose of reproduction on postcards. Some companies found postcards so popular that they published entire series devoted to specific breeds of dogs. A common practice in the early years of this century was for families to print family pictures on postcards...frequently the family Collie was included! Because of the great popularity of dogs, many businesses used them on their advertising cards. Thanks to this practice Collies can be found on cards advertising dog food, biscuits, cigarettes, coffee, fruit, candy, and even cars. Postcards are still popular today, but unfortunately not the lucrative business they once were. Today the widely-used Chrome postcards are generally mass produced with little attention to the setting and detail, that became so typical of the early postcards.

A Postcard featuring the Arthur Elsley print "Don't be Afraid" (1910)

Two designer cards from the early 1900's.

A postcard of "Ch. Southport Sample". Taken from the oil painting done by F.T. Daws for Spratt's dog Food. 1910. Would love to know where the oil painting is!!

A postcard of Ch. Squire of Tytton", one of the early foundation sires.

An unusual postcard of Eng. Ch Magnet taken as a very young dog. One of the most important Collie sires in this century! In later years he had a wealth of coat. This postcard was sent to the all breed judge Chris Shuttleworth (the kennel manager of Valverde Kennels) by the dog's English owner, Thomas Laidlaw. (1913)

A highly collectible advertising piece for dog biscuits.

Two postcards from the very popular Raphael Tuck series (English) of "Scotch Collies", from the early 1900's. They are called oilettes and mimic the texture and appearance of a real oil painting.


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