Roaring 20s vintage Christmas card stockpile — Michael makes a big find

vintage christmas card familyvintage christmas card estate saleReader Michael emailed me last week share a wonderful estate sale find — a motherlode bonanza of really old, New Old Stock Christmas cards — from as early as the Roaring 1920s and Arts & Crafts style old. Oh my: There is just something about vintage graphics and vintage printing technology — along with the pleasant yellowing of high quality paper stock — that makes vintage greeting cards so delightful. The question is: Should you use your vintage greeting cards? I say YES — even though I, too, find it difficult. Read on for Michael’s story of discovery and for lots more gorgeous photos of these NOS treasures. –>

vintage christmas card estate salevintage christmas cards

Michael writes:

Last night I went to a local estate auction and purchased a HUGE lot of vintage NOS Christmas cards, many still in their original boxes.  Each style ranges in quantity from 6 to 44 pieces in each box, and I also have about 25 singles. The condition is terrific, and the quality of the card is really impressive: many are made of heavy card stock, or embossed, or hand tinted, or embellished with a bit of ribbon or foil paper, etc.  Even some of the envelopes are lined in the most whimsical patterned tissue!

The type of greeting ranges from general Christmas wishes, to recipient specific messages:  father, son, mother, daughter, daddy, uncle, nephew, niece, pastor, teacher, convalescent, friend’s mother, sweetheart, husband, wife, grandfather, grandson…  The messages are very charming!

I believe the cards to be from the late 1920s-1930s, which I know falls outside of the range for Retro Renovation, but I know in the past you have featured the odd article or item of interest from the 20s-40s.  I thought since this lot was so large, varied, colourful and seasonally appropriate it might be off interest to you.  I have kept  some boxes for myself to send out and give to family, but the majority I will be listing on eBay tonight and tomorrow.  I purchased a smaller lot of similar cards from the same estate last week (it was a two part sale), and 16 out of the 17 listings sold on eBay (most with “Buy it Now”)– there was a lot of interest.

Hope all is well in your world!  🙂


vintage christmas cardsThank you, Michael for taking the time to send me all these gorgeous illustrations. They make me so happy!

vintage christmas card houseIt is impossible to choose a favorite.

vintage get well card 1930s

vintage greeting card

vintage christmas card son

vintage christmas card mother

vintage christmas card

vintage christmas card holy

vintage christmas card greetings

vintage christmas card schnauzers

vintage holiday cards

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Well, golly, wouldn’t you know, that before I could even get this story prepared, Michael’s cards — which he had quickly posted on to ebay — were selling like hotcakes. Just a few days after his initial email, he updated me:

Well, I finally got the last of the lots listed today on eBay.  There were 82 listings in total and 52 have already sold!  It was crazy– today, as I was posting each lot, most were snapped up within minutes by one of three bidders in California.  And each was sending me messages asking what was coming up next, could they get a preview, etc.  Crazy!   It was fun opening box after box of such vibrant gems!  I’m kinda sad it’s over…


Me too sad. Readers, if you want to see more of the designs, once you are in ebay, navigate to see Michael’s Completed Listings.

Readers, are you on the lookout for vintage greeting cards?
Do you use them — or are they too precious?

Categoriespostwar culture
  1. Debbie says:

    Old cards are grand and I have been collecting them for years with the idea to make them into framed, embellished Christmas art. No luck getting to them yet but I still have high hopes.These particular cards are amazing!

  2. nina462 says:

    Lovely, just lovely. I wish cards were still made like that. when my Aunt/Uncle pased – I was gifted by her collection of cards as well. My cards are goofy ones from the 70’s. Plus I received most of their Christmas ornaments & wrapping paper.
    Thanks for sharing – they were lovely, just lovely.

  3. hannah says:

    What an utterly FABULOUS FIND!

    Under the article, my favorite is the second one down, night time, house and huge moon in the sky. And, if I’d been lucky enough to get some from Mikes eBay sales, I would use them, but save one of each kind.

    Great story, thanks for sharing!

  4. Michael says:

    It was a real treat to open up box after box to discover what was contained inside. I really did feel like I had discovered a buried treasure! I can’t imagine ever coming across a find like this again.

    I was floored by the variety, quality and condition of these cards; they’re like nothing we see on the market today. The ones that come with envelopes lined in vibrant patterned tissue are my favourites I think.

    I will send some out to special friends and family this year. It looks like the rest are going to some very appreciate and enthusiastic collectors in the US! I know one of the purchasers sells on etsy, so if anyone is interested you will likely be able to buy individual cards from her through that site.

  5. tammyCA says:

    What a great find…too bad I didn’t see this post in time. I love and collect vintage cards, not many but I just love the old art/graphics so much. I’ve only photocopied some to use in my own crafting that I don’t sell for profit (I know about copyright).
    Here’s a company that sells reproductions:
    …my sister bought me the dog cards on the left a few years ago and I never want to use them because they are too cute & I want to keep them..plus, I don’t think other people receiving them will save them.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Man! My best friend is totally into old cards. I hope she saw them on eBay and bought some. What an absolute treasure!

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