Anyone for tennis – Wimbledon 1900s & Olympic Champions

I have just been listing on my Reynard Collectables ebay store a very fine group of about thirty postcards, bought last year as part of a massive (and expensive!) collection at auction. The major part of the collection was glamour and humour cards, some of which have already been featured on here, but as the Wimbledon Championship fortnight is looming I thought I would take the opportunity to put these tennis-related ones up for sale. Aside from the fact that they are very fine photo cards of Edwardian sporting stars, they were also fascinating to do some research on while completing the listings.

I think they are all from around 1906 and include three cards showing men’s singles and doubles finals, with the courts – and especially the grandstands – a far cry from today (I think this is not long before they moved to the current home of the All England Club at Church Road).

The rest are of individuals or a few doubles pairs and include some of the “superstars” of the time. For instance the English Doherty brothers (Reginald and Hugh Laurence) won a huge number of singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon, won the Davis cup numerous times and several Olympic Games titles. Hugh was also the first non American to win the US national title (now the US Open). It is said that they only started losing as their health declined, as both suffered through poor health pretty much through their lives, and Reginald died in 1910 aged only 38, just four or five years after his last major win. His brother Hugh Laurence Doherty won his US crown in 1903 amongst a number of Wimbledon titles, singles and (with his brother) doubles. But he also died young, in 1919, aged only 43, having been invalided out of WWI due to ill health. He had actually given up tennis in 1906 to take up golf, at which he was also a fine player! The brothers were eventually inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1980.

Or what about Anthony Wilding, a New Zealander who won numerous Australian and Wimbledon titles (singles champion at Wimbledon 1910,11,12,13), both singles and doubles, and was for a time world number one. He died in WWI at Neuve Chapelle in 1915 (one of his commands was a fleet of armoured Rolls-Royce cars!). He is still remembered in New Zealand and has a foundation in his name – the Wilding Foundation. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.

Another interesting story was that of Karl Behr, a New Yorker who although a decent tennis player (Wimbledon doubles and US championship singles finalist) didn’t seem to have a record anywhere near that of the previously mentioned players, but was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame well before them (but he was American!). His main claim to fame was that he was a survivor of the RMS Titanic, sinking along with his fiancee and a group of other first class passengers. He died in 1949 aged 64.

Behr’s doubles partner in their Wimbledon final defeat in 1907 was Beals Wright, also from the USA, and although he never won a Wimbledon title he did win numerous US national titles and also two Olympic titles at St Louis in 1904. He died in 1961, aged 81, and had been inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1956.

The above are just a few of the highlights from fascinating personal stories from a bygone age. Other names include Norman Brookes (Australian), Sydney Smith, Dorothea Douglass, May Sutton, Dr Wilberforce Eaves (!), Roper Barrett, Alfred Gore, Major Ritchie (his name not his rank!), Otto Froitzheim, Max Decugis and George Hillyard (who later became AELTC secretary and under whose supervision the club moved to their current home at Church Road).

All in all, a fascinating slice of sporting and Edwardian social history and a very enjoyable few hours listing these cards, which are available (if not already sold) on the Reynard Collectables ebay store here.


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Theatrical Postcards from the Golden Age

My last two blog posts have shown postcard art and Indo China postcards from a fabulous collection Reynard Collectables have just bought at auction, but they are only part of a much larger whole. There are many hundreds of vintage comic cards (a whole album with 100’s of Tom Browne cards), not particularly the very racy cards of the 1950/60s but more the gentler humour of the golden age and into the 1920/30s.

Also seen are a collection of vintage advert cards, some of which I will show in a couple of weeks but for this blog I thought I would show a small selection of the theatrical cards (again several 100 different in the collection) with most being the art poster types.

There are a few of the “playbill” type and one I have shown here includes a mixed bill including Louis Armstrong and Max Miller which I think must be from the 1930s? Also shown a nice early card promoting an individual artist Robert Steidl (I have several similar of different artists). I also particularly like the more minimalist art deco type cards by Nerman of which I show the one of the play “Thark”.

Just as stylish in their own way as the art nouveau and deco cards in my previous blog, but also they compliment very well Reynard Collectables large stock of vintage theatre,opera and ballet programmes and ephemera.

Some of these will be listed for sale shortly possibly on the new Reynard Collectables website (tba) or on their ebay or delcampe stores which will both be open again for business after the christmas holiday.

Enjoy these for now as a taster!


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Art Deco & Art Nouveau postcards

From a fabulous (and probably fabulously expensive!) postcard collection I bought recently I thought I would share a very small sample of the cards on here. There are some wonderful cards in the collection including sets by Brunelleschi, Sager etc as well as a large number of the different art nouveau designs by Raphael Kirchner. Other artists either art deco or art nouveau include Hassall, Montedoro, Bompard, Corbella, Hans Christiansen, Stoopendaal amongst many others and all original cards from early to 1900 to the 1930s. There are a few advertising cards including some very stylish art deco designs for the Red Star shipping line and I have included one of those in here.

I might add a few more later in the holidays but I will be listing these cards for sale either in Reynard Collectables ebay or delcampe stores (both shut for the holidays until 29th December) but also hopefully in a new website of my own. If you are interested take a look in a couple of weeks otherwise just enjoy these miniature artworks!

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French Indo-China – People on postcards

Amongst a huge postcard collection I have just bought at auction is a small album of around 150 cards from an area I previously knew very little about, namely French Indo-China. The main body of the lot was humour (400 Tom Browne cards, for example) and glamour from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods (many Raphael Kirchner, Barribal, Montedoro, Brunelleschi etc).

But it was the Indo-China cards that sparked my early interest and I have been listing some of them for sale on Reynard Collectables website here.

French Indo China was in place from 1887 to 1954. It included what is now known as Vietnam but which at the time consisted of three territories – Tonkin (North), Annam (Centre) and Cochin China (South) – along with Cambodia, Laos and Kouang-Tcheou-Wan.

My postcard collection seems very much centred on the peoples of the territories rather than the topography and include anything from opium smokers to farmers to a number of groups at market. People from the different areas are also shown, such as Dapcau, Sontay, Haiphong, DaNang, Laos etc.

Many of the cards seem to have been accumulated by a soldier in the French Colonial Forces and there are a number of cards (mainly of people in the Dapcau area) addressed to him as “Monsieur J Bonc, Adjutant 10e Colonial, Dap-Cau”. All these cards have Dap-Cau postmarks so I suspect he was mailing the cards to himself to get a used card with  proper local postmark – a stamp collector maybe?

There are several different publishers shown in these cards such as P.Dieulefils from Hanoi,  M.Passignat also Hanoi, Plante from Saigon, Ponjade de Ladeveze etc.

As I mentioned there are well over 100 cards, none of them common, and a great opportunity to build a new collecting area or add to an existing one. For me it all helps to expand my knowledge of past and current world social history and geography. Fascinating stuff, and all available in Reynard Collectables delcampe store here!



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Gruss aus, Groeten uit! Early pictorial postcards from the Golden Age.

I have already added a number of early postcards from a huge collection bought a few months ago, but now as I am listing more on Reynard Collectables delcampe store site I thought I would add a few more images.

The above title hints that whereas most have the caption “Gruss aus” (greetings from in German), I do have a number of similar cards from other countries including a nice selection from the Netherlands (hence “Groeten Uit”).

Amongst the lot were hundreds of Hotel and Restaurant cards and a number of “Hold to Light” cards which have an added dimension when a light is shined through the cards to reveal an otherwise hidden feature (such as moonlight, a cows insides etc!). When I can work out how to portray these in their best light (!) I will add a few pictures of these in a later blog but for now some of my favourites from the latest batch are shown below and these are available on Reynard Collectables delcampe store here. I am also listing one or two amongst my various ephemera and odd items listed on Reynard Collectables ebay store here.




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1797 document – The Fifeshire Fencible Cavalry Regiment pledge allegiance to the King!

A fascinating piece of military and social history surfaced in an old scrap book I purchased at auction last week. It was in the book with several totally unrelated and more modern items of ephemera, but this caught my eye when viewing the auction, if only for the early date of 1797.

It is a handbill document produced by a group of non commissioned officers (Sergeants) in a short lived regiment called the Fifeshire Fencible Cavalry. Fencibles were regiments organised purely for home defence and this regiment came into being in 1794, formed in Cupar, Fife by Colonel John Anstruther Thomson. They were only in existence for six years being disbanded in 1800 and seemed to spend most of their time in various barracks around the UK. This document relates to events while they were in Sheffield Barracks around the time of some serious civil unrest in Ireland and with a group called the “United Irishmen” seemingly trying to turn serving soldiers against King and Country (with some success I believe). In this document the group of named Sergeants are basically pledging their allegiance to the King (George III) and also offering a 30 guineas reward for evidence leading to conviction of any traitors.

For a regiment with such a short life I surprisingly found some regimental information in a website online, maybe because this regiment went on to be amalgamated into other more famous regiments? I must admit it is the first time I have ever heard the word “fencible?

Also I found that the paper printed on had a watermark “1795”, all fascinating stuff and I assume a fairly scarce and desirable (hopefully) item, and available for sale in Reynard Collectables ebay store here along with lots of other interest items of ephemera from various periods.


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One of the intense frustrations of on line selling no matter the size of your transactions is having to suffer occasional “paypal bending over backwards to give money to an unscrupulous buyer”, also known as chargebacks. In fact just dealing with paypal is so frustrating!

I sold some cards in January to a buyer in Hong Kong (“stampsfromhongkong” was his delcampe user name) and it took me a month to get the payment from him, and I then sent the items straight away with a certificate of posting obtained.

Now two months later and having had no messages at all from the buyer I get a paypal message saying the buyer has contacted them as he cannot access his delcampe account to find out if the items have arrived or not (??!!). On this flimsy evidence (surely a buyer would no if something has arrived or not?) paypal withdraw the £12 from my balance and ask me to respond.

I go into their “resolution centre” (do they call these things oxymorons?) and find I cannot answer the charge but have just three options a) Refund immediately b) Send proof of “delivery” (no buyer will ever pay £5.50 on top of postage for tracked delivery on a low value item so there is never any and they are not interested in proof of posting) c) Send evidence that the refund has already been sent.

No opportunity to offer evidence that I believe the buyer is fraudulently trying to take my money (he needs delcampe access to tell him if items have been delivered “to him”?? And the reason he has no access to delcampe is that they have suspended his account with only a 41% feedback rating).

I raised a complaint against the buyer but you NEVER get any dialogue with paypal and they just thanked me for sending proof of posting (??) and they would now contact my buyer for a response.

Now a week later I get a message from paypal to say they have found in favour of the buyer despite them never getting a response to the previous update, in fact I have never heard from the buyer after numerous polite messages.

From many many online forums you will always get this complaint about paypal always falling over backwards to find for a buyer even when some pretty strong evidence of fraud on the buyers part, but paypal are just so big and slippery you just feel helpless to challenge them.

Not a huge sum of money to lose but so annoying and frustrating that I spend years running an honest operation, always notify paypal of any spoof emails I receive and somebody with a proven record of poor trading comes in with a vague query of being unsure if something arrives and paypal cannot wait to throw (my) money at them!

I hate Mondays and Paypal.

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