Artist signed postcards were originally produced in Europe, however the cards soon became very popular in the United States. Thousands of illustrators created work that was reproduced on postcards. A large portion of the first artist-signed postcards were of beautiful women, young children and of scenic views. Postcards of special holidays, such as Christmas that were designed and signed by various artists became especially popular, and still are today.
My favorite collecting category has to do with postcards related to the horse, cowboy, Rodeo and the “Wild West” in general. There are quite a few well-known artists, such as Frederic Remington, John Russell and L. H. “Dude” Larsen, that have painted beautiful views of the American West, and many have been re-printed onto postcards. Collecting postcards of the artists, quite a bit less expensive than their paintings, and the search for a certain card is always part of the fun. I have 12 postcards by the artist John Innes. Within the 12 cards,
I have four different series. This includes, Six cards of the “Troilene” Ranching
Series: two of “Troilene” Western Type Series: and two of “Troilene,” Primitive
Transportation in the West. All were published by W.G. Macfarlane. The other two cards, are part of an “Anglo Cowboy Series” – one is titled “The Breed” & the other card “The Bad Man.” There isn’t any named publisher on the back of either card, however, both have a fancy design as part of the letter C in Card, and John Innes signature is on the front lower right-hand corner. One card “The Breed” has a hand written message, and postmarked, 1910. It was mailed from St. Louis MO. – Southwest A.P.O. The 2nd card titled “The Bad Man” – (in near mint condition) has no postmark, however the fancy C is on the card.
John Innes was born in London, Ontario in 1863, and died in Vancouver in 1941. He was an early and important artist in British Columbia history. He worked in the early 1880s surveying for the Canadian Pacific Railway that was under construction, and also served in the Goer War with the Second Canadian Mounted Rifles. He had a career as an author, illustrator, cartoonist, artist, and correspondent. He also worked for a while for the Hearst Publishing Company in New York City as a painter and artist. In 1933 he had a solo exhibition of eight paintings at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and following the Exhibition, the paintings were hung at the University of British Columbia. He continued working as a commercial artist in Vancouver until his death in 1941. I’ve enclosed five cards from some of the western series. Each card has a good description explanation regarding the paintings. I’ve copied the information from “The Bad Man” card — as I think the description of a bad man is really interesting.
There are still many postcards out there waiting for a new home, so I hope sometime this fall we can venture out and do some more “postcard/antique hunts.