The ghosts of Christmas past

This week I’ve spent my evenings in the company of our Christmas cards, doing battle again with the static plastic strips as I packed them for the fair on Saturday. As the folding and packing developed its own rhythm, I had time to think about where the designs came from.

Where I can, I try to find out something about each of the originals we use. Sometimes the name of the design or the manufacturer is printed on the back, other times dealers at the fairs can tell me a bit more. With a bit of investigation I can usually find out where the cards were made and how old they are. And sometimes persistence fleshes out the details or leads me to other enthusiasts. But often it’s the personal details that are the most interesting.

Of the cards we used for our Christmas designs, this one intrigues me the most because it is a story half told:

I bought it online because I liked the image and when it arrived I discovered a family photo inside; two parents and three children, captured by an unknown photographer.

The handwritten message is brief: ‘Katy & Claude’ and ‘Xmas 1934’. The only other marks are some wavy lines and the code L ES34 embossed on the back of the card. It seems to be a postmark as the number corresponds to the year it was sent, but I haven’t been able to find out what the letters mean. There was no envelope with the card, so I have no other leads. Instead I’m left with part of a story and a host of questions. Who were Katy and Claude? Who were the other people in the picture? Where did they live? Who did they send the card to?

If you want to find out more about our other cards, try:

It’s Christmas! Well, a little bit in our house
Telegram Sam
We’re having a party


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