is a repro of a Red Star Line (Antwerp – Dover –New York) postcard now
published by TransAtlantic Research and based on original graphics from the
Charles Ire Sachs Collection in the USA. In this 1907 illustration of a bridge
foursome on a cruise ship, the guy in the sunhat flashes the ace of hearts surreptitiously
to his lovely partner, presumably to indicate his affection for her! Now hosted
by well know (and some less well known) bridge players and teachers, bridge on
cruise ships have become extremely popular over the past decade or so, with
several cruise companies including bridge as a supervised social and learning
activity in its brochures, even putting advertisements in bridge magazines.
of a set of six Lance Lance Thackeray 'Oilette Remarque' " Bridge
Illustrated" series RT9062 published by Raphael Tuc, the caption "An
Absolute Dummy" is clearly indicative of the monocled gentleman's passive
stance (is he dithering or just shy) when the gorgeous and demure ladies
by hsi side are amking eyes at him and hopiong he would make his move.In the end
sketch he appears to have missed the boat and looks a proper Charlie when
the two ladies walk out on him. The comments at the back of the card are also
amusingly read "Hardly fair is it -two to one. I daresay bert could manage
a few more Bert must have been quite a
The opening up of the postcard back for a message as well as the address from
1902 onwards allowed Thackeray to expand his art from the ealrier and clever
Write-Away designs with Tuck to the entire front. The Oilette Remarque
series, with illustrated marginal notes, were characterised by bonus drawings at
the side of the main design, tkaing the form of a visual pun or denoument, which
typifies the satire of the artist. The 'Bridge Illustrated' series subtly and
comically illustrates some of the terms familiar in Bridge such as dummy, dealer
etc. A bridge postcard (Wednesday- bridge) also appears in the later
"In The Smart Set2 series RT9158
Another card from the Raphael Tuck "Bridge Problems
with Punch series titled "Bridge Amenities" and illustrated by Howard
Somerville. It shows four sophisticated ladies indulging in the
following bit of gossip with a cheeky bit of innuendo during play: "Is
Florries engaegement really off then?"
"Oh yes, Jack wanted to give up gambling and
smoking, and goodness knows what else. How absurd!!" (editors note :- some
things never change)
Smoking was clearly very fashionable in those days
(nowadays it is frowned upon at most bridge tables) and the tbales pictured on
many of the postcards are of good quality and now antiques of great value. (and
the author would like to lay his hands on one of these tables - any offers ?
This postcard is from the Nostalgia Postcard
Collectors Club set and advertises a brand of chocolate, with brief details on
the verse on the history of bridge.
"A Good Call" is one of a set of
"Bridge Expressions illustrated" published by Davidson Bros as series
6099. The designs were by Rene Bull (1870-1942). This nseries amusingly
illustrates some of the various comments made when playing bridge. the finely
designed postcard illustrated here was posted in Sheffield in July 1904 with the
pertinent comment :"Oh dear me-do stop that alarm -am so very tired-think I
will wait for the next train"
This is an unknown black and white postcard from a
photograph showing four elderly grey-haired Indian women "playing a
Rubber". Bridge is very popular in India with the middle and upper classes.
This unusual postcard "Symptoms of the
east" is autographed by Omar Sharif and Zia Mahmood probably the most
famous bridge players in the world
This Oilette card from the Raphael Tuck in the Bridge
Problems from 'Punch'" series drawn by L Ravenhill "Who doubled No
Trumps ?" shows disagreement on bidding between a pompous and irate pair
(while their opponents appear smug) sound familiar ???
This postcard (series2504) published by James
Henderson & Sons Ltd London and captioned "Happy Moments at Bridge.
When this is your hand and its your call" the artist was Thos Downey and it
was posted at Woolwich in February 1911. Would you bid 2C here ?
In the first picture "Reliable Series 9no 9335)
bridge postcard was published by William Ritchie & Sons, presumably as part
of a series on card games. A Bridge is plain to see in the background and if you
look carefully the suit symbols can be seen in various forms on the card
The centre picture shows a postcard printed in
Germany but probably of USA origins since it has a NY January 1910 postmark. The
pun in the caption "Girls make young men look like chumps, in the game when
hearts are trumps" is obviously on the Hearts suit.
The final picture by the artist Savile in series 526b
shows couples playing against each other in elegant dress. Perhaps married
couples playing bridge together don't always argue !!
"Spades are Trumps" postmarked in August
1907, is one of a set of six illustrated Bridge DB2597 designed by Tom Browne
for Davidson Bros. (the remaining postcards were provided by David Pearlman of
London who is also a collector of all picture postcards)
In his typical down-to-earth sense of humour style,
with graphical associations to biddable suits, Tom Browne, or Tom B, as most
collectors knew him was born in Nottingham in 1870 and, at fourteen, began an
apprenticeship with a firm of lithographic printers. After a trial period, he
was apprenticed to a designer for the princely sum of a shilling a week, and it
was then that he discovered he had a flair for drawing. After moving to London
and struggling to make a living at first, his luck changed. His biggest break
came when his humorous cartoons were accepted by Punch and at the age of
26 , one of his paintings was accepted by the Royal Academy,
The other cards below are from the same Illustrated
bridge Series by Tom Browne and these card are kndly doanted to this page by
David Pearlman of London.