November 23, 2012

0393 CHRISTMAS (United States) - Children Reading (A Merry Christmas)

Even though I know that they are pathetic, because it addresses of a kind of sensibility extinct long time ago, this kind of postcards from the early 20th century wake up in me a sort of strange nostalgia, the regret for something that I never had. Sounds strange, but I met this feeling to other people too, even to some much younger than me. I think that is the regret that we lost a certain innocence that reigned the souls of the ordinary people and governed the relations between they until after WWII. The fact that in recent years have begun to circulate an increasing number of reproductions of such postcards is encouraging, and the truth is that those who print them have numerous choices. Only Ellen H. Clapsaddle, who signs also this postcard, left behind over 3,000 postcards.

Born in 1865 in the small farming community in Herkimer County, New York, Clapsaddle submitted her work to publishers in New York City and became a recognized commercial artist. Hers greatest success was in the development of her artwork into single-faced postcards. Artistic designs had become highly prized during the "golden age of postcards" (1898-1915) for their great marketing possibilities.

She moved to New York City around 1895, then lived, between 1901 and 1906, in Germany, in that period the center of the high-end publishing world. When she returned to New York, established the Wolf Company backed by the Wolf brothers, and for 8 years they enjoyed success, investing heavily in many Germany engraving and publishing firms. In 1914 she returned to Germany, where caught her the WWI. A time nobody knew anything about she, but after the war the Wolf Brothers found she wandering through the streets hungry and sick, because she suffered a complete mental breakdown as a victim of the war. She died in Peabody Home for the elderly and destitute in New York City in 1934.

Although unmarried and childless, more than half of the estimated over 3,000 signed postcards, as Ellen H. Clapsaddle, as well as the unsigned ones, show illustrations of children in their full innocence and sweet faces. From this category is the postcard that I received it from Neil, whom I thank sincerely.

About the stamps

The first stamp, issued on April 11, 2011, features a portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), one of the most celebrated American painters of his era. Is a 20 cent definitive stamp, designed by Derry Noyes.

The second is the wonderful american Christmas stamp for this year, issued on October 10, and featuring an image of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt.

This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday #143, hosted on Beth's blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy. Click on the button below to visit all the other participants.

Ellen Clapsaddle - Wikipedia
George Washington 20¢ - The Aladdins Cave
New Christmas Postage Stamp - Sun Day

sender: Neil J. Hajba (direct swap)
sent from Kingston (New York / USA), on 20.11.2012
reproduction of a postcard by Ellen H. Clapsaddle, c. 1914

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on the nostalgia of something lost - and possibly never had (as I did not) - with these cards.
    I haven't had any Christmas cards yet, but soon, I hope!