Long before we had Instagram to share the real-time details of our travels, postcards were the only affordable way of sending home a slice of our adventures.
Taken in techno-color and designed to make the most mundane location seem exotic, postcards were a fun way to share our vacation with our friends or family while we were away. Given the advances in technology, postcards should have gone the way of the rotary phone and cassette tape.
But, just as vinyl records managed to become retro, collectible and a hipster source of pride, postcards are not only still in the communication game, but are also collectibles.
On sale now at Kedem, the premier auction house for Judaica and Israeli culture, are multiple postcards from pre-Independence Israel. From full color Rosh Hashanah cards to black and white cards of children learning in Cheder, they are auctioning off postcards that are worth a second glance. Postcards can’t go viral, but do help you share memorable moments. Yes, postcards were your grandmother’s Facebook.
It’s hard to imagine that our Facebook feeds will be worth much money in the future. But, like vinyl records, postcards have developed a currency as collectibles. In a previous Kedem Auction, one of the official postcards from the 13th Zionist Congress in 1923 sold for $344.
With thousands of dollars of postcards in his collection, postcard collector Stewart Cohen explained the fascination, “Some people just like collecting things. I specialize in postcards with Jewish content.” For Cohen collecting postcards is a way to connect to his Jewish identity. “For someone who collects baseball cards the thrill is in finding the full set. For me, it’s preserving a piece of our Jewish heritage. I have cards from Auschwitz, ones that show the face of anti-Semitism and many from synagogues around the world.”
The value of postcards goes up with age and rarity. Meron Eren, co-founder of Kedem, explained that both age and condition make a difference to the worth of antique postcards. “Collectors are interested in finding something rare, or that has specific sentimental value. Someone might pay more for a postcard that has some personal connection even if it does not have large resale value.”
Postcards might have value as collectables but what about current postcards? Like many places of interest, the Israel Museum shop still does brisk business in postcards. Shop manager Shloimi Miller explained, “People still like postcards. They are a nice memento of a visit and often are taken in much better quality than would be possible with a private camera.”
You’re still sure that your Instagram pictures are better than any postcard? You can always download that Postagram app, which will transform your Facebook and Instagram pictures into postcards, and mail it to your destination for you.
So now, make Bubby’s day. Send her a postcard to show that you love her. You never know; maybe one day your great- grandkids will be selling it for big bucks.
For more information about any of the collectable postcards on sale at Kedem (or to sell your own antiques) see www.kedem-auctions.com The Postagram app can be found at https://sincerely.com/postagramRachel Gross