Ringing The Bell

Victorian Era card. Circa 1870s – 1890s

Price:  $3.00        Size:  3 and 15/16 x 2 and 3/8″

A trade-type card that never got stamped with owner info. Very beautiful design – a sturdy-looking little boy or elf-type guy. What’s he doing exactly? Flower-wrangling 😉 comes to mind. A made-up term. Not that it matters, but the best guess is he’s ringing the bell-like flower (to call someone, across the misty, dreamy-looking expanse that would have held advertising.)

Scheuneman’s Store, Gary, Indiana

The page below had likely been part of a publication on Lake County history or maybe German immigrants to Indiana. Per the writing on the back, it had been saved by a Scheunemann and Raasch descendant, until it later ended up at a paper fair, where we found it.

Size of full page:   About 9 x 5 and 1/2″        Size of image:  6 x 2 and 3/4″

Price:  $10.00

A page out of Gary, Indiana history….circa 1880s – 1890s


“Uncle Fred. Scheunemans store in Gary with Aunt Alice, Alma & Walt & their hired girl standing[?] also Uncle Fred…[?]… Granpa Raasch was the delivery man, Granpa Scheuneman & Aunt Minnie’s home next door to south & Uncle Fred &…[?]…lives up stairs above store.”


Cropped version below. The sign on the right in the photo is quite difficult to read, and we could be wrong, but the first two lines look like “Howe. U.S.”


Below, the 1880 Federal Census for Tolleston, Indiana (now part of Gary) shows Fred Schoeneman (Sheuneman) born 1830, his occupation listed as Extra Sand [?] something to do with the sand mining industry; his wife Wilhemina, born 1825; son Fritz, born 1855, working in general grocery store and bar; daughter Gusty, born 1860, clerk in store; son Richard, born 1863, works on railroad; and daughter Wilhelmine, born 1868, keeping house. All are stated to be from “Pommern” except for Wilhemine, born in Indiana.


Below, the 1900 Federal Census for Calumet, Indiana also may fit the Scheuneman family that owned the store. (The ages fit if Ludwig is Fred and for daughter Wilhelmina.) Appearing there are Ludwig Scheunemann, born May 1830, Germany, widowed; daughter Wilhelmina, born November 1868, Indiana, single. Living next door is William C. Bunde, born April 1871, Indiana; his wife Emma, born November 1875, Indiana; stepchildren (to William Bunde, if census is correct) Alma Scheunemann, born February 1883, Indiana and Walter Scheunemann, born December 1885, Indiana; and servant August Wagner, born October 1880, Germany. Note that August Wagner’s occupation is grocer-delivery man.


Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Tolleston, Lake, Indiana; Roll: 291; Family History Film: 1254291; Page: 487B; Enumeration District: 066; Image: 0393. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1900; Census Place: Calumet, Lake, Indiana; Roll: 383; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 1240383. (Ancestry.com)

Tolleston. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolleston. (accessed October 29, 2016).

Pomerania. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomerania. (accessed October 30, 2016).

Eva Blasdale’s Party, April 3rd 1901

Eva Blasdale's Party Placecard April 3 1901 m1Eva Blasdale's Party Placecard April 3 1901 m2

Here’s a wonderful hand-drawn, hand-colored place card made for one of Eva Blasdale’s party guests, Russell Doughty. It shows an elf holding reigns of silver ribbon which is trailing up to the sky; the elf is being led by a chick. Lovely details on the elf – you can see the buttons on the tailcoat; love the yellow pantaloons  and the curly shoes and hat. The party date is April 3, 1901, which was a Wednesday.

Hand-drawn party place card. April 3, 1901.

Price:  $12.00    Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 2 and 1/4″

L. Prang & Co. Christmas Card

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“May Christmas fill thy heart with gladness!”

For anyone tired of the cold and snow, here’s a beautiful bouquet of pink roses and a summery nature scene on an artist’s palette. The little moon-shaped tableau shows a woman in the foreground with a dog, a man seated a short distance behind her, and a church in the far distance. The publisher’s name and date appear below the palette:  Copyright 1886 by L. Prang & Co., Boston.

L. Prang was the influential lithographer and publisher Louis Prang (1824 – 1909) who is referred to as the “father of the American Christmas Card.” His Christmas cards were first offered for sale in the United States in 1874, but he is also well-known for publishing major works of art and maps. He was born in Breslau, Prussian Silesia (now Poland) and died in Los Angeles, California. Photo below courtesy Wikipedia. Check out the two links if you have the time, they are quite interesting reading, and a quick search for online images will bring up many examples in a wide range of art and ephemera.

Louis Prang

Louis Prang (1824 – 1909)

Christmas card, circa 1886. Publisher: L. Prang & Co., Boston, Massachusetts.

Price:  $15.00       Size:  About 5 x 5 and 1/4″

Sources:  Kavanagh, Marybeth. “Louis Prang, Father of the American Christmas Card.” New York Historical Society,  December 19, 2012. Web accessed December 24, 2015.

Louis Prang. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Prang. (accessed December 24, 2015).

A Saucer Of Milk

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Here’s a lithograph from an unknown company of a little lady, perhaps the domestic help, giving the family kitty cat a saucer of milk. I love the expectant pose of the kitty; the lady’s ensemble with mob cap and flounced dress with large bow in the back, and her fingerless gloves; and the background showing the pitcher of milk on the little wooden stand, with the greenery in front of what appears to be a leaded glass diamond patterned window.

Lithograph, publisher unknown. Circa 1890s – early 1900s.     Size:  3 and 1/2 x 5″

Price:  $6.00

Fae’s Keepsake

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Here’s an Art Nouveau heart-shaped bit of ephemera. The back just has one word, “Fae”  written in pencil. It shows a country path veering off to the right of a cottage in the distance. It is no surprise that the artist added some yellow and orange to depict sunrise or sunset; these times of the day show up often in antique and vintage cards, especially where house scenes are concerned! What seemed out of the ordinary was the rounded band nearly surrounding the tableau, with it’s unusual design. But as it turns out this idea is not so unusual after all; many others within the genre can be found online, often highlighting the figure of a beautiful woman; a Greek muse, for example.

Embossed heart-shaped card with scalloped edge in Art Nouveau style. Circa late 19th to early 20th Century. Fair condition due to fold and small tear at top left, and wear showing at bottom.

Price:  $6.00   Size:  About 4 x 3 and 1/4″

Custom Of Japan

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We like to do mini-themes here or try to segue from one topic or place to another, so here is a vintage tourist postcard set cover from the Fukada Card Company. It’s not in good shape but I just picked it up for the color and design. It had only one postcard in it, of a church in Seoul, Korea, (see next post) which one assumes would not have been in the original set.

Vintage postcard set cover from the Fukada Card Co. Circa 1950s – 1960s.

Price:  $1.00

Two Birthday Cards For Mrs. Barbara A. Hester

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“Each year holds special gifts in store

You would not want to miss one

My wish is  ‘Many Birthdays more.

And happiness on this one.’ “

This cute little card of Birthday Wishes used to have a gold ribbon (of which there was just a small piece left) hence the discoloration where the ribbon was….The card came with an insert on which the daughter wrote:   “Dear Mother:  This little card come to you on your birthday. We got home OK this eve and we all feel good. Paul & his girl are at the house.”
And on the inside of the card was written,  “Jean will come home next Wed. for a few days. Love from us all. Margaret.”

We find a Margaret H. Copeland (this makes sense after looking at the second card) on the 1930 Federal Census for Logansport, Indiana; married to Percy H. Copeland, both born about 1877; their son, Paul H. Copeland, born about 1907, is single; and daughter Ada, is born about 1916; all are born in Indiana. With the family are lodgers Ethel Richardson and Alice Shorter. This is a good possibility for the correct family. Shoring up the odds we see that the 1920 census for Jackson Township, Indiana, shows all the same family members with the addition of daughter, Jean, born in Indiana, about 1909.

An index of Paul H. Copeland’s marriage record was then found. He married Alice M. Tucker on August 8, 1931 in Cass County, Indiana. This record shows his parents Percy H. Copeland and Margaret Hester. So, it looks like Margaret used the initial of her maiden name as her middle initial, after she married, which was a very common thing to do at this time. (We see Ancestry trees with Margaret’s middle name as Pearl.) We could estimate then that these two birthday cards were from about 1926 – 1931. From here we found Margaret’s parents Barbara Ann Loop and James William Hester. Ancestry family trees have Barbara’s date of birth as January 29, 1855. If this date is correct, this means that these cards were sent in 1926, since Margaret put  “Thursday…Tomorrow is your birthday….”  on the second card (below) and the 1926 calendar shows that January 29th fell on a Friday.


Above is the second card, found along with the first. It has a name written in pencil on the front which is,  “Aunt Maggie Copeland.”  And this must be the sender who’s initials on this one are M.H.C. So, maybe Maggie’s niece wrote on the front later. In any case, the sender wrote:

“Thursday….Dear Mother:  Tomorrow is your birthday and I wish we might be together. This weather is terribly cold and I hope you are comfortable. We got more cole and can be nice and warm. If I send you some material & that wool do you feel like making a comfort for our little bed? I’ll send Pa a card soon as I find a good one. Love, M.H.C.”

Ha, it looks like Margaret is saying “we got more coke”  but I think she meant coal…..I especially love the design of this card. (For me those flowers have a “sixties look” to them. I’m thinking of an album cover with similar flowers but forget who the group was.) This second card has the artist’s initial’s  “E. N.”  with copyright.

Set of two birthday cards, circa 1929. Artist on the second card shows initials “E. N.”

Price:  $15.00      Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/2.”

Sources:  Year: 1930; Census Place: Logansport, Cass, Indiana; Roll: 579; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0017; Image: 805.0; FHL microfilm: 2340314. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1920; Census Place: Jackson, Cass, Indiana; Roll: T625_426; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 50; Image: 113. (Ancestry.com)

Ancestry.com. Indiana, Select Marriages, 1780-1992

“United States Census, 1880,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MH94-G8Q : accessed 3 February 2015), William Hester, Howard, Howard, Indiana, United States; citing enumeration district 48, sheet 339B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0285; FHL microfilm 1,254,285.

Sailboats And Roses

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Here’s a gorgeous antique card, from around maybe the 1880s – 1890s, of a scene showing several sailboats; the one in the foreground shows the oars in operation. Semi-surrounding this tableau is an arrangement of roses in a horseshoe shape:  a multi-petalled rose in pink and one in burgundy, the pink being predominant and in full bloom, with buds and leaves, and beneath this a spray of white with gold center single-petalled blooms. The colors and design are wonderful on this card:  the pale green and lavender reflecting off of the water; the difference in the top and underside of the rose leaves; the light showing somewhat through the clouds in the sky; the blues on the boat in the background, almost silhouetted, and to balance this out, the little bit of blue on the roses on our right. I like the placement of the seagulls, (six of them) and we can see a silhouette of a person manning the boat closest to us. This is another one of these little scenes one can get lost in, like a mini-vacation.

This card happens to have a couple of names on the back, in beautiful handwriting:  “Lillian Kent”  at the top, probably the person the card was given to, and either a partial name that’s cut off or full name with location that’s cut off,  “Cora Brown Tea….”  I think whoever took the card out of the scrapbook probably did a great job considering it’s a delicate operation. Too bad we can’t read the last word though, as that would probably let us identify the person that was the likely sender.

Victorian era card. Circa 1880s – 1890s.   Size:  2 and 7/8 x 4 and 1/4″

Price:  $15.00

Horse-Drawn Fire Engine

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On the back of this card was written very lightly in pencil  “Fire. ca. 1880”  but this was likely done by a prior seller, rather than the original owner of the card. This would be some type of print, a lithograph one assumes, of some beautiful artwork showing a two-horse fire truck, a couple of mustachioed firemen in blue uniforms, pulling a spouting engine. The horses gallop down the road, carrying the men and fire-fighting apparatus right at the viewer. The predominant color on the card is blue-gray, but the representation comes to us as highlighted inside a red diamond shape, with the engine’s burning flames and billowing smoke overflowing outside the diamond. One of the horse’s hooves just barely appears outside the red line: something that would always be deliberately done to help get that flow-y effect. And shooting outside the diamond tableau are some star-like designs on each side of the road (streetlights?) The cloudy-looking colors around the bottom, to me give the effect of horses kicking up dust. All in all a great action scene. Plus notice how the bright yellow at the horses’ feet balances out the other bits of yellow on the card (or vice versa)…..It really seems like the more you look at this one, the more you see.

From the public domain, here’s a great video clip of one example of the real thing; taken in 1896.

Antique card, circa 1880s – 1900. Scalloped edges on three sides. Artist and publisher unknown.   Size:  3 and 1/2 x 4 and 3/4.”

Price:  $15.00