Errors and Oddities

Printing errors, publishers' and printers' samples and advertisements for remainders, advertising and poster stamps, also secret codes, esperanto, shorthand and other interesting oddities. Page under construction. Much more to be added.


Printing Errors


A Major Colour Shift, Lambert Stationer, St Annes-on-the-Sea, 1904

Published by Lambert Stationer of St Annes-on-the-Sea or Lytham St Annes in Lancashire. This card, showing the Promenade Gardens in Lytham St Annes, has a major colour shift and was sent from St Annes to Leyland in October 1904.


The "Inland Revenue" Printing Mistake, Bacon's Excelsior Post Cards, 1906

A postcard showing a map of the Isle of Wight by G W Bacon & Co Ltd of London and, on the back, instead of the usual "For INLAND POSTAGE only this Space may be used for Communications", or similar, this card states "THIS SPACE MAY BE USED FOR COMMUNICATIONS INLAND REVENUE ONLY". The card was postally used from Shanklin in 1906 and sent to Hale in Cheshire.



The 'Carte Posatle' Error - Lévy Fils et Cie - Le Pont de Flandre, Armentières, c.1910

Published by Lévy Fils et Cie of Paris, undeniably masters of their art, ordinary examples of this animated card of Le Pont de Flandre at Armentières, LL 30, are collectible and command a reasonably high price, but this one features the very rare Lévy "CARTE POSATLE" typographical error which pushes the card into the 'hen's teeth' category. I've only ever seen two examples of this error, the other is below.



A Further 'Carte Posatle' Error - Lévy Fils et Cie - Le Rocher Percé, Biarritz, 1921

A further example of a card published by Lévy Fils et Cie of Paris featuring the very rare 'CARTE POSATLE' typographical error. This card features the rock arch known as Le Rocher Percé at Biarritz, LL 209, and was postally used from Biarritz on 9th September 1921 and sent to Monsieur J Menin, Ingénieur des Travaux Publics de l'État at Hanoï in Vietnam. Although the subject of the card itself is far less collectible than the Armentières example above the error still makes the card highly desirable.



St Michael's Church, Alphington, c.1902, with Danish Back

A postcard by an uncredited publisher showing St Michael's Church at Alphington in Devon. The card was printed in Germany and has, in error, been given an undivided back designed for the Danish market.

Postmark Errors




Postmark Errors and Surcharge, c.1904

A postcard featuring double Camborne cancellations which appear to be missing the year, but have instead what appears to be an italic N or a backwards number 4, or some similar symbol to the left of where the year should be. Both cancellations feature the same mark. The front of the card has a real photographic image of the actress Mabel Terry Lewis which is covered in glitter and was published by C W Faulkner & Co of London. The glitter was deemed contrary to regulations at the time and the card has thus incurred a 1d surcharge. Other cards from the same album suggest a date of 1904.


Newspaper Adverts



Advertisements for Peacock Post Cards from the Llandudno Advertiser, 1905-1906

Two advertisements for Peacock Brand postcards, published by The Pictorial Stationery Co Ltd of London, from June 1905 and September 1906. The top one mentioning that they produce "an immense variety of of views of Welsh Scenery". The top advertisement was placed alongside an article concerning a postcard exhibition in the town.

Product Placement


Buy Reis Post Cards - Queen's Bridge, Belfast, c.1905

Published by Charles L Reis & Co of Dublin, Belfast & Glasgow this card shows a tram crossing Queen's Bridge in Belfast which features an advertisement suggesting that all who see it purchase the publisher's range of postcards. It's likely that the tram originally featured a different advert entirely and that the photo was retouched in the studio before publication. An example of this retouching process in action can be seen on the Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis page on this website.


Blakey Bros Ltd, Sign & Poster Writers - New Midland Station, Nottingham, 1907

A view by an unnamed publisher of a horse-drawn omnibus passing the New Midland Station at Nottingham and which has an advertisement for Blakey Bros Ltd, Sign & Poster Writers. As with the example above it is likely that the original photo was retouched and that the publisher received a fee from Blakey Bros for the service. This card was sent locally from Loughborough on 1st October 1907.

Printers' Samples

Publishers' Samples



Publisher's Sample - John Thridgould & Co, London

A matt bromide postcard showing a young lass checking her roses, no doubt for pesky aphids, and used as an sample of and with an advertisement for Matt Bromide Postcards from John Thridgould & Co of 16, 18 & 20 Sidney Street, Commercial Road, London E. on the back. The company were active at Sidney Street from the 1880s to the 1940s and are generally given as a stationer, printer and publisher, though Nos 16, 18 & 20 suggests a date in the early 1910s. The card was originally published by Berlin-Neuroder Kunstanstalten (BNK) as No 34063/4 and was printed in Germany by the Neue Bromsilber-Convention (NBC) cartel of Berlin.



Publisher's Sample - John Thridgould & Co, London

Another Thridgould postcard, No G1045/3, showing a view of the famed actress Gladys Cooper used as an example of and with an advertisement for their Gelatined Series of Types of English Beauties on the back. John Thidgould & Co's address at this time is given here as 14-22 Sidney Street, an address used from the mid-1910s through to about 1930. The advertisement mentions that a series of 36 postcards of Gladys Cooper and her lovely Child are available. The child in question would be her daughter Joan, born in 1910. Her second child, John, was born in July 1915 so a date around 1914 or early 1915 might be suggested for this card. The notice to the back Entire British Production also suggests that the Great War was already waging. The photo itself is taken by Alexander Bassano, who died in 1913.



Publisher's Sample - Adolf Busch, Aachen, c.1910s

An interesting postcard showing an illustrated view of the shop of the postcard publisher Adolf Busch at nos 27-28 Münsterplatz, next to the cathedral at Aachen, or Aix-la-Chapelle, the most westerly city in Germany and just a couple of kilometers from the borders of both the Netherlands and Belgium. The card gives details in German of the postcards and photographs sold to the front and the back of the card gives further details in both German and French.

Paper Manufacturers' Samples



Paper Manufacturer's Sample - W J Pethybridge & Sons, London

A postcard showing an untitled rural scene used as an example of and with an advertisement for Special Collotype Ivory Boards from W J Pethybridge & Sons of 3 Tudor Street, London E.C. on the back. The company were active at that address in the 1890s and 1900s.



Paper Manufacturer's Sample - John Dickinson & Co Ltd, Hemel Hempstead

A postcard showing a view of Arundel Cathedral used as an example of and with an advertisement for Thick Blue Shade Ivory Matt paper from John Dickinson & Co Ltd of Apsley Mills, Hemel Hempstead on the back. The company was well known throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, most notably for their Basildon Bond writing paper. The collotype printing for the front of the card was done by Howard & Jones of Bury Street, London.


Cinderella Stamps


Pubblicitari Reinach Lubrificanti Cinderella Stamp, 1924

An example of an advertising cinderella stamp for Reinach Lubrificanti alongside a violet 50 centesimi stamp and with an additional red 10 centesimi Umberto I stamp. The postcard was published by Ernesto Suplina of Monfalcone and shows a view of the shops around a piazza in the town. The card was sent to Burnley in Lancashire from onboard a train travelling from Trieste to Milan on Christmas Eve of 1924 and features a Messaggeri Regno Ferrovia "Mess. Trieste-Milano" cancellation.


War Seal Disabled Service Cinderella Stamp, 1915

A War Seal Disable Service 1914-15 ½d cinderella stamp from the First World War. Usage indicated a halfpenny donation to the War Seal Foundation, founded by Sir Oswald Stoll in 1915 to aid disabled servicemen by building them homes where they could be cared for and be integrated back into society. The postcard, published by F Frith & Co Ltd of Reigate, No 35071 from a photograph taken by Frith in 1895, shows the Dining Hall of the Abbot's Hospital at Guildford in Surrey and was postally used from Guildford on 31 August 1915 and sent to Ramsgate.


Languages and Codes



Fête Annuelle, Union Sténographique Suisse, Lausanne, 1906

Printed colour Art Nouveau design postcard showing a view of Lausanne in Vaud, Switzerland and advertising the 12ème Fête Annuelle of the Union Sténographique Suisse, Aimé Paris, at Lausanne on 14 and 15 July 1906. Published by A Chateau, La Chaux-de-Fonds, not numbered. Postally used from Lausanne and with a short message in shorthand.

Morse Code


Message written in Morse Code, 1910

A printed colour postcard "In Friendship's Name" and with a message written in Morse Code. The message, in part, reads "March 1st. Glad you liked the P.P.C. I sent you love. I must also thank you for yours. I like it very much. Remember us to all in Widnes and thank them for their kind remembrance with kind regards from ME to self and love from MABEL XXX".




Rue de Rambouillet, Paris Inondé, 1910 - AHB Photo CPA - Esperanto Verda Stelo

Sepia real photographic postcard showing a view of soldiers and a boat on Rue de Rambouillet in Paris, France during the floods of 1910 and with a Verda Stelo sticker to the front indicating Esperanto usage. The message is written in Esperanto by Monsieur Guerin of 21/9 Boulevard Voltaire in Paris and a member of the Grupo Esperantista de Parizon and requests an exchange of postmarks, notably Austrian Jubilee and Bosnia, with Monsieur Ste Vinceslar Hübner, Pôsta Oficisto, Kolin, Autriche.


Message in Esperanto, sent to Yarrowonga, Australia in 1910

A printed colour postcard showing the Promenade at Withernsea, with one penny stamp to the front of the card and cancelled at Hull on 26 September 1910, sent by Arthur J Turner to Sinjoro L J Bowles of Yarrowonga in Victoria, Australia with a message in Esperanto.

Wartime Curiosities



A Get Well Soon postcard from King George V and Queen Mary, Christmas 1914

An alternative version of the regular 1914 Christmas tin postcard sent by King George V and Queen Mary to British troops serving overseas during the First World War. This version was sent to wounded troops.



Postcard sent to Ruhleben Internment Camp in 1915 and returned by the Censor

This sepia real photographic postcard by H Mortimer Allen of Tenby and showing the launching of the Tenby Lifeboat was addressed to Mr J M Anderson of the S.S. Fleetwing at Barrack 7, Ruhleben, Spandau, near Berlin on 24 November 1915. The card was returned to the sender in Bath with the stamped notification that "Picture Postcards are returned by the Censor". Able Seaman Joseph Anderson lived at 4 Berwick Street in South Shields and was captured by the Germans when the SS Fleetwing was seized at Harburg near Hamburg on 4 August 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War.

Odd Cancellations

Odd Divisions


Horizontally Divided Back by Grand Bazar des Bains, 1912

Published by the Grand Bazar des Bains, Grande Rue. An example of a card where the back has been divided horizontally rather than the conventional vertical divide. The front of the card shows a fishing boat at Le Grau-du-Roi and was posted from Pézenas in 1912.