If you find the prospect of collecting view cards unappealing perhaps you should consider subject cards. ‘Subject’ just means in this context any card not of a particular place. It is often a better bet to build a collection based on say, Mabel Lucie Attwell or Advertising cards as the majority of dealers in whatever part of the country you’re in are sure to have some stock to interest you.

This is not always true of topographical cards if, for example, you happen to be looking outside the area you collect. One word of warning, however. Deciding on a theme for your collection is all well and good but do try, at least in the early stages to collect a category that is not too obscure. I know of a collector who is continually on the lookout for cards featuring opticians and despite many man hours put into the search, often returns home empty handed.

Subject Poastcard example
To My valentine Valentine cards are a popular collecting theme and are catalogued at around £4 each.

So what type of categories will come up trumps? Animals of all kinds are very popular with dogs and cats topping the bill. If you decide to collect dog postcards it may be dogs in general that attract you or you may have a favourite breed, with cats you may like the real photographic types or you may prefer the more comic varieties.

Sporting cards of all descriptions are very popular, particularly football, golf, cricket and tennis but don’t forget chess, wrestling or even roller-skating. Military cards, either photographic images of individual regiments for those wanting to trace family or friends or artist drawn images are much sought after. Following on from this, transportation cards of all kind are very popular, from shipping (Merchant or naval) to Aviation to trains or even bicycles.

As you can see the list is endless, just a few minutes browsing in any dealers stock will reveal many more categories than you could ever imagine, or I could list! Once you have started to collect though it’s often a good idea to go off at a tangent and develop your own personal theme even if this is just used as an add on to your normal collection as this will make hunting much more fun!

Next article: Real photographic v printed cards