Post Cards of the White City.

Part 23.

by Bill Tonkin

214 Court of Honour Night Effect, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

284 Court of Honour Night Effect, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Vert left. (rough edge at top)

List of Valentine’s Postcards from letter cards with the top and bottom edge

perforated or rouletted.

Letter card containing six post cards rouletted at the top and bottom (except the first and last card)

and folded concertina style, in a dark grey folded cover with black printing

Letter card No. 1. Franco-British Exhibition.

Coloured postcards with a red ‘FB seal’ back, rouletted on the top and bottom edges. These are listed from top to bottom.

281 Congress Hall from Gardens, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

331 Flip Flap and colonial Bandstand, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

N.n. View from Flip-Flap, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

132 Scenic Railway, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

220 In Elite Gardens, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

250 Court of Honour, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. The bottom edge is smooth.

There must have been two printings of this letter card as No. 220 is known titled with and without the ‘In’ in ‘In Elite Gardens, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.’

Letter card No. 2. Franco-British Exhibition.

Coloured, with a grey ‘Famous Throughout the World’ back, perforated on the top and bottom edges.

132 Scenic Railway, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. The bottom edge is smooth.

 

Pre exhibition forerunners.

Valentine’s needed to have a large stock of cards for sale on the opening day of the Franco-British Exhibition, and they would have been preparing for this probably months ahead of the event. They were able to take photographs of the various pavilions before they were completed, and these would be handed over to artists who finished them off. Lawns and pathways would be painted in, shrubbery and trees added, and to give the pictures a bit of life, visitors would also be drawn in. None of these cards are numbered, although this is not perhaps totally correct, as one card, a view of the Stadium had no number when published as a coloured card, but when published with an ornamental border was given number 110 in very small figures printed in the design.

As soon as the exhibition opened Valentine’s photographers would have been busy, taking the many hundreds of shots that would be turned into postcards, and within days, these would have been on sale. It is likely that the forerunners would have been replaced with a large range of cards showing the exhibition and all its wonders as soon as possible, and the forerunners gradually phased out. It is noticeable that while possibly hundreds of thousands of valentine’s cards were remaindered after the exhibition closed, there were very few of the pre exhibition forerunners amongst them. These remaindered cards were sold by wholesalers at 4/- per thousand to be used for advertising or d change after the various exhibitions closed. In today’s decimal currency this works out at 1 for 5,000 cards, for a wholesaler to be able to sell at this price, Valentine’s must have almost given the cards away. So far, very few of the forerunners have appeared as advert cards, in fact it would seem only one firm ‘Rood Bros.’ had some, which would support the idea that they were phased out, as other cards took their place.

The forerunners are easily identified, as all the figures of people can be seen under a magnifying glass as crude drawings and not photographs of real people, the pathways, buildings and areas of lawns are shown as solid patches of colour, and also the forerunners were only used for the Franco-British Exhibition in 1908. The forerunners often used the same title for two or three different views, and these are listed as type 1., type 2., etc. They also used different titles for the same view. For full details of any postcard see in the main section.

Another type of card which was also probably produced before the exhibition opened were cards drawn by artists. Apart from a few odd views this includes the series ‘Conveyances’, ‘Entente-Cordiale’ and ‘Old London’. Artist drawn cards, like the forerunners were only used for the Franco-British Exhibition and the White City, although one card showing a rickshaw was republished for the Japan-British Exhibition.

Algerian Palace, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

Ballymaclinton (Irish Village), Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908

Bridge in Court of Honour, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

British Applied Arts Palace, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 1.

British Applied Arts Palace, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 2.

British Applied Arts Palace, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 3.

Canadian Scenic Railway, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

Colonial Avenue, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

Colonnade British Applied Arts Palace, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 1.

Colonnade British Applied Arts Palace, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 2.

Colonnade in British Applied Arts Palace, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 2.

Colonnade in British Applied Arts Palace, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 3.

Colonnade in Court of Honour, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908.

Colonnade Palace of Music, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 1.

Colonnade Palace of Music, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 2.

Colonnade Palace of Music, Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. Type 3.

Index

© Exhibition Study Group 2002