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Magic Lantern 
Picture Postcards 2.

I should have been gloomy here, but...........

British comic postcard, printed by James Bamforth, Holmfirth, who started as a manufacturer of magic lantern slides and later began to produce photographic postcards, initially from the same negatives as the slides. Soon the success of this venture began to surpass the production of slides.

Victorian season greeting card.
De la Rue logo on the back. Measures approximately 3.25" (8.5cm) wide.
In January 1869, an Austrian professor of economics, revived the idea of producing printed postcards and on 1st October 1869, the Austrian Post Office issued the world's first official postcard. A year later the first official postcards in Britain were issued by the Post Office, printed by the famous firm of De La Rue, and incorporated a printed stamp. They carried a prepaid stamp to the value of 1/2 d, a new postal rate for open correspondence. As this was half the standard postal rate, the Post Card was immediately popular, and 675,000 were sold on the first day of issue.

Vintage 1930-1950's 'Hawthorne Sommerfield' Christmas card 'The Wonderful Magic Lantern'.


Texts at the back of the card: POSTKARTE WELTPOSTVEREIN CARTE POSTALE. Union postale universelle. And.....


This so called "Biedermeier Glückwunschkarte" was published around 1810 in Vienna by Joh. Neidl. The card is numbered No. 35. The 'projected' image can be changed by means of a built-in revolving disc with different pictures. The text on this image reads 'Lebe wie Du wünschest' (Live as you like). The poem says:

Es soll dein künftig Glück,
Nur meinen Wünschen gleichen.
So wird es, glaube mir,
Das höchste Ziel erreichen.

(When your future happiness will correspond to my wishes, it will achieve the highest destination.)

This valuable (c. € 450) greeting card measures 10 x 7,3 cm.


postcard magic lantern Biedermeier

Another Biedermeier type movable card, published in Augsburg, Germany around 1810. Sizes about 3 1/4" x 4" (8 x 10 cm).

When the tab of this early valentine card is pulled, two scenes appear out of the magic lantern on cupid's back. The caption reads: 'The theatre of Love, a drama in 2 acts'.

Photo: ©Pierre Patau, antiquetoysandgames.com.

Two marvellous mechanical postcards with a dazzling chromatrope effect. The first one shows a triple of cupids playing around a heart; the other a water mill with a colourful wheel in winter (c. 1912). The chromatrope effect comes into being when the cardboard discs inside the cards are rotated. No publisher or series mentioned. Size: approx. 3.5" x 5.5" (9 x 14 cm).
(See also: Mechanical slides, Chromatropes.)

Another chromatrope effect post card showing three children playing with a magic lantern. Probably Belgian.

Real Chromatrope.

A contribution of Jean-Philippe Salier, France.

The Mistery Card 3.
Interesting puzzle card, showing a kind of faun using a magic lantern to project the aim of the puzzle:

Can you explain it?
Cut out the three pieces following the dotted lines but close to the block-edges. Then place the pieces together and you will see 13 cards. Reverse the places of nos 1, 2 and you will see 12 cards.


This is one card of a very large series cards published by Chocolat Lombart, 'Les Cris de Paris'. Each card deals with a profession and shows the differences between the realisation of it in the years 1740 and 1910 by means of two pictures. Chocolat Lombart was founded in 1760 and was the first chocolate factory in France.

The front of this postcard reads, "Heat up this Post Card with Hot Flat-iron, gas jet or match, (Don't burn it.) Copyright 1906, by American Journal Examiner. What do the boys see?" on the back it states that this postcard was given "Compliments of Boston Sunday American."

Für lustige Turner! Drollige Bilder aus dem Turnerleben. Frisch, fromm und frei, ist die edle Turnerei. For cheerful turners! Funny pictures from the life of the turners. Fresh, fine and free, is the noble physical training. Sizes: 5 1/2" x 3 1/2" (14 x 9 cm). C. 1900.

postcard magic lantern advertising stretford
A postcard of a magic lantern made by Aubert in France, c. 1870. This postcard was published in Germany in the 1980s or 1990s. It is approx. 4" x 6" size.
Very rare English postcard, advertising 'LANTERNS STRETFORD'. Name and address of the business are overprinted in red with a new name and address.

Vintage postcard, Japanese art, c. early 1900's. A child using a magic lantern to project pictures of dogs at the wall. Art Deco style?

Maybe not a real magic lantern but this French hand tinted glossy collotype photo postcard shows a young girl on left with 1909 projected from a light to her left. Used in December 1908.


This lovely American Christmas card sent by Albert and Eliza in 1902 shows a group of young children around the Christmas tree. Among the presents is a fine magic lantern, probably made by Bing, complete with its wooden chest.

The card is published by E.C. Kropp, Milwaukee, as number 1020.

postcard magic lantern Ivens advertising
Very special postcard. It's made of metal and a replica of a vintage enamel advertising plate for Ivens & Co, Amsterdam. C.A.P. Ivens was the founder of the Dutch firm CAPI and father of the famous film-maker Joris Ivens. The company sold photographic equipment and also magic lanterns. The picture is signed 'v. Caspel'. De card is from a series of cards on 'nostalgic posters and enamel plates from former days', published by Nimpex, Holland.


Postcard, unknown origin. The 12th Deutsche Turnfest zu Leibzig took place in 1913. Apparently the editors of the Berliner Tageblatt described the situation differently than it really was. 'Frechlustige kragenlose ungebügelte Gesellen!' (Naughty, collarless, unbridled companions).
American promo postcard from Swift & Company, 1913 postmark from Stockyards Station, offering 'A handsome hand-colored lantern slide with your own name and address printed at the bottom'.

Here are three Magic Lantern First Day Covers dating from the 1980's. The first shows a very decorative child's lantern and is dated 1981. It measures 19 x 10 cm. The second depicts a large magic lantern and is dated March 21 1983. The third shows a phantasmagoria presentation and is dated 1989. It measures 16.5 x 9 cm.
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Last update: 22-01-2019.
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