Vintage Postcards

My grandmother collects everything. So as far back as I can remember, I’ve collected everything too. Most of my collections are mini-collections of her things. Like this one.

A couple years ago, while in her guest bedroom looking for old ballet photos, I came across several large albums. One had two postcards taped to the cover. “Italy and Switzerland,” it read. Curious, I opened it. Inside were hundreds of postcards dated between 1902-1909, back when postcards were painted depictions, not photographs.

It was love at first sight. I’d love to share a few of my favorites.

Unfortunately, the original owner taped the postcards into the album, which caused the discoloration in the corners you can see on many. Because the album is fragile, it can’t go in the scanner, which means I photographed each postcard individually. The colors haven’t changed at all.


Five years ago, I stayed in a sleepy, high-end spa town in Tuscany called Montecatini. Most people have never heard of it. But there, about six pages into the album, the half-print, half-cursive I’ve come to know so well proclaims “‘Montecatini’ my forgotten city!” I, of course, have always remembered.

On an unrelated note, I would like to order all of the ladies’ hats.


I’ve never been to Milan. This view alone is worth visiting.


I smile every time.

Rio Albrizzi

Rio Albrizzi

This set reminds me to Monet’s Rouen Cathedral series. The two paintings are by different artists, clearly at different times, possibly in different seasons.

Venice Fish Market

I just can’t get over the fish. A postcard of the squash market is taped next to this.

So far, I’ve only photographed a quarter of the album. It covers every major Italian and Swiss city, as well as some smaller ones. Somewhere is another book of postcards from Paris and a couple other miscellaneous cities.

Are there postcards from particular cities you’d like to see on the blog?

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