I love vintage paper ephemera of any kind, but especially greeting cards. I recently picked up a few I'd like to share. The graphics are adorable, colors bright and cheerful, and the sentiments so sweet. Who wouldn't smile upon receiving a get well card with a horse so cute, a hare that is hopping mad, or a sweet little girl sending you a warm get well greeting? Cards are, and have always been, a way to express feelings. You cherish and hold on to them forever, which is why you find so many at estate sales.
Greeting cards have been around for over 200 years. You can find them at estate sales, auctions, flea markets, antique and thrift stores, maybe even your own attic!
Collecting is fun and usually inexpensive. Decide on a theme such as birthday cards or get well cards. I personally like cards from the 1930's -1950's. It doesn't matter to me what kind of card. I'm drawn to the graphics of that time period.
Once you start collecting the big question is "what am I going to do with these?" I have several framed and grouped together on my living room wall. Children's cards can be framed and placed on a shelf in a nursery or hung from a peg with a pretty ribbon. I have too many to display at once, so I bring out the holiday themed ones and hang from a garland or insert into a centerpiece on picks.
Condition is important for resale value, but not neccesarily for a personal collection. Things to look for are creases, tears, stains and writing. You can expect normal browning of the paper due to age. Most greeting cards have been signed. If you love it, buy it!
One word of caution! Glue and scotch tape can cause stains that not only detract from the look of the card, it also devalues it. Sunlight and humidity will harm your collection. Keep away from sunlight as it can fade the ink. Humidity can cause the paper to warp and possible mold. If framed, it is best to use a mat. That keeps the paper from touching the glass and damage free. Always store in an archieval safe (acid free) way so you can enjoy them for years to come!
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