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Collector’s Corner: Collectable British Postcards

Although postcards in business and our personal lives have become commonplace as collectables, they haven’t existed for very long: just since the 19th century. When postcards were first invented, however, people resisted using them because they didn’t care for the fact that anyone could read them. However, nowadays, old British postcards available on eBay UK can be a cherished look back in time.

How do vintage postcards in the UK vary?

Whether you're looking for posted or unposted old postcards, you'll have a variety to choose from on eBay UK. You can find both standard and continental-size postcards from the following periods:

  • Pre-war until 1914
  • WWI (1914-1918)
  • Inter-war (1919-1939)
  • Post-war (1945 -Present)
How does subject matter affect the value of old postcards?

Old postcards for sale that feature iconic images, like the collectable postcards featuring the Titanic or her sister ship, the Olympic, usually fetch quite a bit of money. Additionally, vintage postcards on eBay in the UK that feature holiday images like Halloween or Christmas also find their place in collectors’ hearts. Finally, postcards created from the images created by famous illustrators like Louis Wain may also be worth quite a bit.

How age affects the postcard’s value

Like most antique items, the age of a postcard has a lot to do with how valuable it is. The approximate age of a postcard may be more obvious if it features a black and white photo or historical subjects. Minus these obvious factors, there are still ways to determine how old a collectable British postcard is.

The postage and the postmark on the postcard can give you an idea of its age. Some old postmarks were created by machines that are no longer around. This is an indication of age, too. Other postmarks indicate that the card was sent from an unusual place. As well as this, a postcard’s size may also tell you something about its age.

The postcard's condition plays a role

If an old postcard looks worn or stained, it may not bring much money. However, most of the time a collector will want to know if the postcard in question is in mint or near-mint condition. If it’s not, that doesn’t mean it won’t be of some value. Postcards classified as “good,” “very good,” or “excellent” still may be worth quite a bit of money. Sometimes, they’re worth between 50% to 80% of a mint-condition postcard.

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