Movie star postcards probably originated back in the late teens, possibly even earlier. Postcards featuring theater actors proceeded them: there is a vast collection of early 20th century
theater postcards in existence. Movie postcards are still being made today, some as film promotions. They were most popular in the late 1920's and throughout the 1930's.
HOW MANY DIFFERENT PUBLISHERS OF VINTAGE MOVIE STAR POSTCARDS WERE THERE?
Lots. Its seems that almost every country in Europe manufactured movie star postcards. Ironically, although most of the stars were from the United States, there were very few American made movie postcards. Germany was the biggest producer of the cards, followed by France and England. Other countries include Austria, Italy, Sweden and even Russia. Some of the more famous postcard names were Iris (Austria), Beagle (England), Picturegoer (England), and Cinemagazine (French).
HOW MANY DIFFERENT ROSS VERLAG POSTCARDS ARE THERE?
If the cards start at #1 and go to #9999 (minus about 900 cards in the 2000 series) and then from A 1000 to A 4100, than that is about 12,200 series of cards. If we average out the number of cards in a series to about 4 (most probably had one, but some went up to 20), then that gives us approximately 48,800 cards. But then, there seems to be quite a few unnumbered cards also. Not to mention some of the unusual series. And, of course, the Luxus series and the K, W and G series. And don't forget all the the tobacco cards they printed in many size formats. So your quess is as good as mine.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND MOVIE STAR POSTCARDS?
The best place would be through on line auctions, particularly Ebay. There are many ebay sellers out there devoted to selling postcards, and some of them specialize in movie star cards. There are also other private online sources for cards (like mine). Search for them through Google.com. Off line, antique and collectible stores and especially antique malls are your best bet. Not everybody sells them (in fact, very few people sell them), but some of the fun is in looking! Antique fairs (such as Rennigers in Pennsylvania and Florida) usually have a few sellers. Anyone who sells postcards usually has some movie star cards. They may be listed under famous people. One other place you can be sure you'll find something are Postcard shows. These are held throughout the country at various times of the year. Check the links page for a resource.
WHAT ARE THE VALUE OF MOVIE STAR POSTCARDS?
Like any collectible, their value depends upon what someone is willing to spend on it, and that can vary from day to day. Females sell much better than males. Performers who had a career in Hollywood usually sell better, because the strictly European performers are not always as well known worldwide. The most valuable cards would have to be those of Josephine Baker, whose cards have gone for over $100. Louise Brooks cards can sell that high, too. Anna May Wong is also very popular. Marlene Dietrich cards can sometimes sell for a nice price. Cards from the movie Metropolis, particularly those with Brigitte Helm as the robot, are usually high priced. Cards with nudity (and yes, there are a few), also are popular. But, generally, for the rest of the cards, the price range is somewhere between $1 and $15, depending upon the star featured and the quality of the card. Hand colored cards usually sell for more, particularly for the better known actors. Only the most famous male actors sell -- like Valentino, Lon Chaney, Chaplin, and Keaton. Value usually depends upon the celebrity featured and the quality of the photo on the card. Some people only collect one star. Some people prefer unusual cards with obscure performers. Some people only like the most well known, while others go by aesthetics. Others (like me) collect just about anything. Some want to collect every single card Ross put out. In Germany, autographed cards are a popular collectors category.
WHY DID YOU CREATE THIS SITE?
At first I was just curious as to how many Ross cards there were and if there was a pattern to their card numbering. Then I wanted to see if we could create a listing of all the cards.
ARE YOU GOING TO PUT UP SCANS OF ALL THE CARDS?
Probably not. There's just too many cards, and I certainly don't have all of them anyway.
HOW MANY CARDS DO YOU HAVE?
I think I have between 8,000 and 10,000 postcards, most of them movie star postcards, and most of the movie star postcards are Ross Verlag.
|BACK TO THE MAIN PAGE|