Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday's postcard: Christmas card from Raphael Tuck & Sons

Here's another card produced by England's Raphael Tuck & Sons, coming on the heels of the small Christmas card that was tucked away inside the "Triumphant Songs" book we examined earlier this week.

This appears to be a postcard, although it was never used as such and the reverse side does not contain any indication of where to place a stamp, address or message.1 More on the back in a moment.

Printed along the bottom of the card's front are "RAPHAEL TUCK & SONS" and "X SERIES 300".

The verse on the card is the final stanza of John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "Our Master":

The heart must ring Thy Christmas bells,
Thy inward altars raise;
Its faith and hope Thy canticles,
And its obedience praise!

That's followed by the phrase "A Happy New Year." It's probably not the specific sentiment Whittier had in mind when he penned his Quaker poem, which calls for simple religious services lacking in structure, ritual, incense and bells.

Meanwhile, the back of the card contains a name, a date and large logo for Raphael Tuck & Sons. First, here is what's scrawled across the top:

Two mysteries here: 1. What is Rosella's last name? 2. What year is written after December 23?

Regarding the last name, I might have guessed Kane, but that "n" is looking more like an "r." I guess the full range of possibilities would have to include Kane, Kare, Kave, Hane, Hare, and Have. Am I missing anything?

The date, at first glance, looks like 1806. But that wouldn't make a lot of sense, unless it refers to something like Rosella's birth date. My wife's educated guess is that it's 1886, and the writer just got a little sloppy with the second 8. (Also, we know for a fact that Raphael Tuck & Sons launched its business in 1866.)

Finally, here's the wonderfully detailed Raphael Tuck & Sons logo that appears on the back of the card:

There are clear similarities to the logo that appeared on the back of the Christmas card I featured earlier this week. Here they are, side by side:

1. The Chicago Postcard Museum's website has an informative page titled "How old is your postcard?"

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