Featured Antique horse racing trotting postcards “one offs”

Discussion in 'Ephemera and Photographs' started by Decka, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Decka

    Decka Active Member

    Hi all!
    I’ve got these three postcard albums full of Australian trotting postcards. The horses depicted are from the late 20’s to 1930’s. The 3 albums contain just over 300 one off postcards. These postcards were not mass produced and were postcards produced from actual photos. I believe the albums belonged to a photographer working with one of the local papers at the time. The postcards are not of actual races but are training pictures which makes them even rarer.
    Can I get some feed back from our postcard forum collectors as to their collectibility as a postcard. Being sports related, horse related and being one offs should be a plus I would think. Any help would be appreciated. 88388737-BE67-47EB-B2B9-F7010DDCB7AC.jpeg
  2. wiscbirddog

    wiscbirddog Well-Known Member

    They look like photographs to me. Could we see the back of one of them showing they are in fact postcards.
  3. Decka

    Decka Active Member

    They they are definitely postcards and have you usual postcard backing. Their all unused and in incredible condition. Sorry I’m currently overseas and can’t post a picture.
  4. Fid

    Fid Well-Known Member

    real photo postcards are sometimes listed under RPPC.
  5. i need help

    i need help Moderator Moderator

  6. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Some photos of the backs of these cards would be very useful. I assume all of these have not been sent through the mail? If they were postally used the postmarks would help to date these and give us more info on who sent and received them. The back of the cards also can give us info on the manufacturer of the card and possible photo credit to the photographer. I assume these cards are real photo postcards (RPPC) but if you look at the image under magnification and see any printer dots then that would be proof that they are not real photos.

    It was extremely easy to produce a postcard back then and these may indeed be one offs. Scarcity alone doesn't make a postcard valuable but it certainly helps if the subject matter is desirable. Real photo postcards are generally more desirable than other cards because they can capture incredible levels of detail. I'd think cards related to horse racing would have good value especially if they are RPPCs and are very scarce. Some cards should be worth more than others, such as cards shot in identifiable places or before major races. Postcard collectors generally like lots of detail and lots of movement. I really like the card with the grandstand in the background. Desirability generally trumps scarcity and postcards of actual races would be more valuable and if you could identify the jockey, horse, date/location that would add to the desirability for collectors. Winning horses during/leading up to the race that was the zenith of the career would probably fetch the best return I'd think.

    Were any of these ever published? That would be an important wrinkle to research as well and an iconic photo postcard published in a major paper would fetch top of the market prices.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  7. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    And in looking closely, I can see in dark print the names of, I think, the horses, written! NEATO!!!!!
    pearlsnblume and i need help like this.
  8. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    That is a very lucky break! Lots of collectors/dealers very lightly in pencil write important info such as this on the back of the card.
    pearlsnblume likes this.
  9. Fid

    Fid Well-Known Member

    would certainly be a bonus if they were from the Grand National in Sidney.
    pearlsnblume likes this.
  10. Decka

    Decka Active Member

    Thankyou all for your input. Yes the horses names are very conveniently written next to each postcard. This is how I was able to research the postcards and date them. Researching some of the horses I was able to find out that some of them indeed won major races in Australia and New Zealand. There are also some RPPC’s of prominent figures in the trotting industry back in the day. A lot of the pictures are taking with the trainer ( wearing a suit ) putting the trotter through its paces. There are also many pictures of the horses taken at their owners home or homestead, with classic old cars in the background, shops with vintage advertising, etc.
    I have shown the RPPC’s to a museum here in Australia and they confirmed that they are RPPC’s.
    As to the postcards ever being published I can’t say. Did the albums belong to a photographer working for one of the local newspapers? Or did the albums belong to one of the prominent figures pictured in the album. The prominent gentlemen pictured would of definitely had the finances and more importantly access to these horses.
    The search continues...
  11. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    I'd expect institutional or at least very heavy collector interest in these postcards due to the interesting subject matter if they are indeed one offs and are unique. I attend local estate auctions here in the U.S. and sometimes there is a museum or historical society bidding on a few items. If these are as scarce and desirable as they appear I'd expect that best prices would be realized in a well advertised auction at a reputable auction house that has both floor and internet bidding. RPPCs of desirable subjects can realize into the hundreds of dollars each.

    I'm kind of surprised that these were found in postcard format. I wonder if the owner of the horse would have created these to send to friends and family to celebrate his horse racing prowess. If that was the case there might be a small chance there may be more out there. Postcards as ephemera generally were discarded by the recipient after a time so even if there were a number produced there may only be a few or none surviving. Most photographers could easily make a custom postcard for a client.

    I wonder if @Vintage Maven would have anything to add?
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
    pearlsnblume, J Dagger and Figtree3 like this.
  12. Decka

    Decka Active Member

    Thanx for the information that you have been able to provide me it’s a great help. I’ve been struggling with what I should do with them moving forward. Should I donate them to a museum and hope they do the right thing by them. Should I put them for sale out in the open market and breakup a great collection, I mean that’s my biggest issue.
    pearlsnblume and J Dagger like this.
  13. Dave47

    Dave47 Active Member

    RealPhotoPostCards are, indeed, very collectible. As a full collection. probably 90% of the value is in 10% of the postcards - and racing historians are the most likely customers.

    Using RoT (Rule of Thumb) the value as a collection is likely $600 to $1500 unless there is a "really special horse" in it. IMHO, of course. Most such postcards were made in total runs of under a hundred.
  14. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    Neat collection. I am not an expert, but had pacers and trotter racehorse here in the USA. The ones purchased from NZ or Australia were trotters. It has just been my experience that the photos taken of these wonderful animals are adored by their owners, trainers and drivers etc more than the public. Unless you have a horse that is so famous for breaking records (like Secretariat did here for thoroughbreds) it MAY be harder to sell. Having said that, since they are indeed postcards and not just photos then their value may be very different from what I know.

    Much good luck and thanks for sharing.
    Aquitaine likes this.
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