Postcards that come with strings

It is often said that every conceivable subject has appeared on picture postcards, but sometimes it is quite astonishing just how many different cards on a particular theme can actually be found. I found that to be true when I went looking for postcards of guitars. What a range I discovered, from old real photographic cards of people playing the instrument in various locations (outdoor singing picnics seemed particularly popular in Germany), to street musicians, actresses identifying themselves with playing a guitar, romantic artist-drawn cards featuring people or dressed animals, and comic cards of children. Post-1945, cards can be found of ‘singing cowboys’ like Roy Rogers and c.1960 pop idols, and the tradition of bands and artists appearing on postcards continues right up to the present day. A collection is also bound to include cards from well-known artists such as George Studdy, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Harrison Fisher and Arthur Butcher. Comic cards offer a rich source of guitar postcards, many referring to specific artists or using risqué expressions. By far the most common, though, are of the romantic genre, where a familiar design is the young troubadour serenading his lady love, or vice-versa. Girls were often pictured alone playing guitar, too. Incidentally, if you want to see some of the author’s musical work, google ‘brian and rich youtube’!


  1. French-published Maurice Boulanger postcard of a feline music party.
  2. E.A. Schwerdtfeger card with a Valentine message, posted at Chipping Sodbury on 13th February 1913 from a hopeful young lady, who promised not to send Will another if he didn’t respond. Her message didn’t sound too hopeful.
  3. This one also doubles as an Easter card as the guitar-playing rabbit and his love re-enact the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene. The German-published card was posted in 1908.
  4. Harrison Fisher was a popular American artist who specialised in tasteful romantic scenes. This postcard was published by Reinthal & Newman of New York.
  5. and 6. Real photographic cards published in USA  of outdoor musical sessions.