Exceptionally fine 1909 Christmas / New Years holiday postcard with brilliant color matte-finished chromolithograph - heavily embossed and accented with bright silver trim. Image is that of winged boy angels in colorful Christmas garb filling large bags with silver coins. This card is clearly of the exceptional quality usually seen with German postcard publishers of the era.
Before Christmas became the most popular gift-giving holiday, New Years was a day when in many European countries, friends and family were traditionally given gifts - often gold or silver coins - as a way of conveying hopes for wealth, prosperity, and luck in the New Year. One possible origin for this practice may be an old legend which ascribed to Saint Nicholas (on whom the modern Santa Claus is based) a reputation for secretly giving gold coins as gifts.
“Postcard” is printed on the back in 16 languages, together with “Made in Germany” and the publisher’s logo - a shield with the initials “A.S.B.” on it – which probably stands for the German publisher of this era A. Sala of Berlin - and the number “164” underneath. Message is in Polish, sent from an address on East 70th Street in New York City, and addressed to a Green Point, Brooklyn address. Postmarked from New York City NY on December 23, 1909.
PHOTO NOTE: The BRIGHT SHINY SILVER accents do not show-up well in this photo. Photos also distort the clarity of the images and sometimes the intensity of the colors. The muted "grainy" look is a distortion. The colors are more vivid and the clarity greater when viewed in person. Minute defects are exaggerated by the scanning process, and many are barely noticeable when viewed in person.
CONDITION: PLEASE EXAMINE PHOTOS CAREFULLY. Exquisite rich colors and bright silver accents. Standard-sized postcard in excellent condition - unusual for a postcard of this age. Postmark and ink hand-writing, front and back, is very clear. No folds or creases. Corners damaged, but very little damage elsewhere. The background shows some age discoloration, and there is a light cancellation mark along the lower edge. Flaws are more noticeable in the photos than in person. Exceptionally clean. Back shows age discoloration, heavier on the edges. Very little age discoloration on the back. Stamp is partially missing. ALL FLAWS ARE OBVIOUS IN THE PHOTOS.
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