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. (

Year: 1920; Census Place: Jackson, Cass, Indiana; Roll: T625_426; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 50; Image: 113. ( Indiana, Select Marriages, 1780-1992

“United States Census, 1880,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : 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

Joy And Happiness

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This card is probably vintage rather than antique; it appears to maybe be a copy, as the back of the card is white, rather than yellowed with age. If it is a copy, then I’d estimate the original to have been from about the 1880s – 1900. It shows a print of a little girl with rosy cheeks and light brown curls, wearing a yellow dress and white floppy hat and holding two red roses. Her image appears on the inside of an oval tambourine, the surface of which, (they call it the skin or membrane) has broken away to reveal the little girl. Above and below the tambourine are two bunches of grapes with their leaves, in two varieties. The phrase  “To Wish You Joy and Happiness”  appears on a rustic wood plank tied with a blue ribbon with the flower of one forget-me-not. I think this card’s design is perhaps linked to the grape harvest festival where this musical instrument may have been commonly played.

Vintage card. Date, artist and publisher unknown.   Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 5 and 1/2″

Price: $5.00

Forget Me Not Annie Baxter


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Two pages from autograph/souvenir type books from 1886. Artist and publisher unknown. Size:  About 4 x 6 and 3/4″ each.

Availability status:  SOLD

“Forget me not Miss Annie Baxter….”

“Dear Annie: 

May friendship and

Truth be with you in

Youth and catnip and

Sage cheer up your

Old age.

       –  Harry L. Wiley, Beckville, Tex., May 10th /86″

“I now a secret will unfold

Long has it smothered been

Oh never yet has it been told

Valued by fears with in

Eternal life demand

You must my secret keep

Oh in your bosom let it swell

Unconcious let it sleep.

Your Little Sister,  E. L. B.”  (middle initial L?)

A departure from our numerous postcards and photos, here are a couple of antique pages from a souvenir/autograph type book that would have been popular with students, from 1886. (Thank you Harry Wiley for recording the date and place.) Aren’t they beautiful, just look at those details! In the first one, two children, a little boy and an older girl are perched on a garden wall, watching some snails. Note the girl’s fingerless grey gloves, the lovely collars for both of them, and the hats (always hats!) There is writing on the back of this first card which is,  “Dear Annie, May your honest endeavors be a ….”  The writer did not finish this thought. The back wasn’t scanned – just to save having to fold the paper too much, and the poem recorded here by Annie’s sister was not found online, so is a mystery as far as name and author. Perhaps the sister was the poet? I must admit I don’t quite understand the poem; perhaps the subject of the verse is Love. The first poem is cute, and was one of a number of sayings written down by many a school chum, maybe at the end of the school year. The second card shows a drawing of pretty young mother, from inside the house, handing her daughter a rose through the open window. The little girl is out in the yard with the flowers and a rather large butterfly.

Harry Wiley is on the 1880 Federal Census for “Beat No. 2”, Panola County, Texas. He was born in Louisiana, about 1868. The census is:  Sarah Baxter, widowed head of household; her daughter Ella, son Harry, stepson John Baxter, nephew Thomas Davis, and niece Ellen Riband[?] It would appear that Wiley would have possibly been Sarah Baxter’s first married name (but evidence was not found). Ancestry has a family tree that shows Annie Baxter born in Texas 1871, showing John Baxter as brother.

Sources:  Year:  Year: 1870; Census Place: Beat 2, Panola, Texas; Roll: M593_1601; Page: 265B; Image: 76; Family History Library Film: 553100. (

1880; Census Place: Precinct 2, Panola, Texas; Roll: 1322; Family History Film: 1255322; Page: 216C; Enumeration District: 061. (

Year: 1900; Census Place: Cleburne, Johnson, Texas; Roll: 1649; Page: 21B; Enumeration District: 0057; FHL microfilm: 1241649. (

Amager Woman

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This was an unusual find that was tucked in a large group of old postcards for sale. It’s a cutout of a figure of a woman, (a cute little lady) wearing what was probably the typical dress of the day, and carrying a basket of fresh vegetables. Maybe she has just come from the market. The cutout was pasted onto the cardboard card, and the back shows that the same was done with the word “Amager,” so I think maybe this was part of a series available for collecting, showing different styles or traditional costumes from around the world, or perhaps just from many of the European countries. Amager is a Danish island in the Øresund, in which part of the Danish capital of Copenhagen is situated. The Øresund or Öresund, is a region spanning parts of Denmark and Sweden, centering on their two respective cities of Copenhagen and Malmö.

Collectable card, circa 1880s to 1890s. Size:  5 and 1/2 x 3″

Price: $7.00

Sources:  Amager. n.d. Wikipedia. Accessed 24 Aug 2014 []

Øresund Region. n.d. Wikipedia. Accessed 24 Aug 2014 []

Little Girl And Donkey

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Old card, circa 1890s.

Price:  $5.00   Size:  3 and 1/2 x 2 and 5/8″

Adorable small print of a little blond girl and her donkey. At least I think that’s a donkey. The girl wears a red dress and has her white apron extended for holding the greenery that her donkey is eating. The donkey in particular has such a sweet expression. There is nothing on the back except for the markings of the scrap book glue, but someone surely appreciated this image since it’s survived for so long. Estimated date 1890s.

George’s Handmade Card

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Handmade card. Circa early 1900s. Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 5 and 1/2″

Price:  $4.00

It’s not often that you come across handmade cards and here’s a nice one, kind of funny, too. The artwork is pretty good, the leaves at the top, in particular. That would be a poinsettia in the gold heart, and of course a rose. If you can imagine one possibility for the life of this card: It gets made, maybe for Christmas, but not sent, handed off to some family member who’s going to use it later for Valentine’s Day. That person puts their initials and their sweetheart’s initials on it,  “J. H. + “whoever.” Then the boyfriend or girlfriend falls out of favor, the initials get erased, (top left front) and J. H. decides he or she will leave this sweetheart question to be determined in the future. Later another family member comes across it and sends it to Bessie. (See the writing on the left side of the back.) And how about that embossing, pretty good, eh?

Into The Envelope

Into The Envelope

Here’s an antique card, that must of at one time been in someone’s scrapbook, that has a theme along the lines of the prior post. I wanted to put this one up next for the sort of “before and after” effect. Similar examples can be found online of adorable children, cherubs, puppies, hearts, birds, etc. usually appearing as having traveled in the envelope to bring the sender’s good wishes, and sometimes bringing tokens of love or good luck, like the clover in the prior post. In this scene the artist playfully depicts a couple of cherubs:  The one is just about to tumble into the opened envelope, while the other, looking back with a bit of an apologetic smile, tries (unsuccessfully we presume) to stop him. Black seems to be an odd color choice for the wax seal…..But anyway, for sure this will have to be a new sideline for Laurel Cottage – searching for more of these type at card shows and antique stores.

Price:  $12.00  Size:  About 3 x 4 and 1/2″  Circa 1890 – 1910.

Kitties On Moving Day

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The “kitty kids” are having a high time of it here while the “kitty movers” are looking understandably a bit beleaguered. There’s the mom in the window (trying unsuccessfully to contain one of her charges?) and maybe that’s the dad trying to help, but tripping with the stack of dishes. This is one of the many colorful and comical drawings by Swiss artist Eugen Hurtung (1897-1973) commonly called “Mainzer Cats” referring to publisher Alfred Mainzer of New York. (They were first published in Zurich by Swiss publisher Max Kunzli and known as “Kunzli Cats”.) The majority of Hurtung’s dressed animal drawings were kitty scenes which often included other animals, like mice, dogs and birds; many of the other animals were anthropomorphized like the kitties here, but some were not, depending upon what was needed to tell the story.

This card (possibly originally a postcard) was trimmed a little on both sides and pasted to fit in the card “frame” by someone. This cut off the artist’s heart-shaped logo that, on this one, would have appeared at the bottom left. It was given to a friend so is only up for display on this website but can be found for sale on other sites.

Non-postal card by artist Eugen Hurtog. Publisher the Alfred Mainzer Co. Circa 1940s – 1950s.