Posted by Oliver Eckl on

Age alone probably doesn't determine the value of an old postcard. The motif is also crucial for the price of a postcard. For hobby collectors, the card motif is likely to be more important than the age of the postcard and ultimately it is these hobby collectors who set the price for old postcards at auctions. Old postcards that have the following aspects are particularly popular among collectors:

  • Postcards that depict a change in place: For many collectors, old postcards that depict how a place has changed over time have nostalgic and/or historical value.
  • Panorama postcards in good condition: Panoramic postcards include all those postcards that can be folded out and depict a detailed scene. These include, for example, street views, but also the scenery of a carnival celebration or a circus.
  • Postcards by Popular Artists: Popular artists of historical postcards include Beaulieu, Earle Christie, McGill and Lucy Atwell. Depending on what art style each artist represents or what culture they come from, the names of these artists can vary.
  • Historical postcards with popular collector's motifs: The most popular collector's motifs include festivals such as Christmas and Halloween. These are particularly popular with holiday postcards and have a sentimental effect on many collectors.

If you, as an inexperienced collector, want to focus on the age of a postcard, cards that were produced before 1895 are generally more valuable than those that were only produced from 1955 onwards. The mass production of postcards began in 1955, which is why copies that were produced before can be assumed to have a certain rarity value. But for laypeople, orientation based on the motif of the card is also suitable. Motifs with technical innovations that emerged around 1900 are usually sold at a higher price. However, the condition of the postcard as well as the presence of a stamp and a postmark are always decisive for determining the price.

As a conclusion when determining the value of old postcards, it can be stated that although the age of the postcard is not the only indication of the value of the card, it can also serve as a guide, especially for laypeople. However, you should always keep in mind that other factors are also important in determining the value of historical postcards. These include:

  • the circulation of the postcard: cards in smaller quantities are certainly sold at a higher price than mass-produced goods;
  • the rarity value of the postcard, which can be expressed, for example, in the rarity of the motif or through the postmark or the signature of a well-known personality,
  • the condition of the postcard: new goods do not always have to be worth more. For example, if the postcard provides information about a historical era, personal texts can also increase the value,
  • the printing process of the postcard: As a rule, a distinction is made between postcards with real photos and postcards with lithographs. Old postcards with real photos in particular are significantly higher than the price of a postcard that depicts a lithograph.
  • the inscription on the postcard, which can increase the value particularly if it provides insight into a specific time and
  • The franking of the postcard: An easily legible postmark with the date and place is considered an important historical document by many collectors