Impressive Collection of 750,000 Postcards Up for Auction

Sunday 16th April 2023 - Cara Bentham


Impressive Collection of 750,000 Postcards Up for Auction

A staggering collection of 750,000 postcards is going up for auction.

The collection is being sold by Jane Westwood from Staffordshire, who has been collecting for over five decades. She began collecting postcards when she was just six years old, and her sister moved to Australia. Now aged 63, the grandmother has postcards dating from the early 1900s to the present day.

The collection includes many photographic postcards, along with hand-coloured postcards, some which are embossed, some made from silk, and some using real feathers in the artwork.

An exciting part of the collection is an album which details a French romantic courtship dating back to the early 20th century. It contains 59 cards addressed to Mademoiselle Amelia Vaurat of Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde, Charente, in Southwest France. Adding to the charm of the cards is a mysterious numerical code that can only be assumed to be a secret code between two lovers.

Mrs Westwood said, "I only bought cards I liked, and it did develop into an obsession - wherever I went, I didn't look for anything other than postcards." She has indicated that she hopes the collection will go to someone who appreciates the postcards, and she intends to spend the money raised on treating her grandchildren.


Some of the other spectacular items on offer include three albums containing postcards with photographic portraiture examples (early 20th century actors, actresses and beauties etc)

Vintage and antique postcards are popular amongst enthusiasts because they offer a glimpse into past times. They give us a sense of people, places, fashions and events from the past. First emerging in the late 1800s, it took some time for the concept to take off. Initially, people were reluctant to embrace postcards; it is thought that they didn't like the idea of sending letters that anyone could freely read. However, they became more popular in the early decades of the 20th century as people began to embrace them as a fun and light-hearted way of communicating.

While many postcards do not have a high value, some have been known to sell for hundreds or even thousands of pounds. The value of a postcard depends on several factors, including age, condition and provenance. If the postmark itself is valuable due to condition, age or rarity, then this can increase the value of a postcard. Similarly, the value can increase if the message on the card is written by an important historical figure or details significant historical events.

The oldest picture postcard known to exist was posted in 1840 and sold for over $45,000 in 2002 at the London Stamp Exchange Auction.

Mrs Westwood's impressive postcard collection will be sold as a single lot, valued at a staggering £50,000 - £75,000. They will go up for auction on April 26th by Richard Winterton Auctioneers in Tamworth.


You can view the full catalogue here.