This is a hard-to-find series by artist Paul Schreckhaase, produced by Hans Kohler & Co., of Munich, Germany. Marked HK&M, Serie 329, we see a variety of scenes of mermaids performing the 'dance of the sirenes' in hopes of luring sailors into the sea. One "mermaid" sits on a rock under moonlight. I have forgotten the details of the mythology as to when they get legs (or is that just in the Disney movies?:) but she looks alone and forlorn. No wonder she's looking for a sailor man!
Various art auction houses list sales of Schreckhaase's paintings: landscapes and seascapes. Artprice lists almost 100 sales. Apparently there is not a lot of personal information known about him. Wikipedia shows examples of his art work, some dated 1898. He died in 1912. The Kohler publishing company, which began in 1901, closed shop the year before in 1911. The Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York says this about Kohler: "An early publisher of high quality artist signed chromolithographic postcards. Many of these cards utilized metallic inks in their imagery. They produced many cards with scenes from fairy tales." Voila! We have mermaids.
Each card is about 5.5 by 3.5 inches. Unused with a divided back. I'd date these cards to circa 1904-1911. (A year and a half ago I sold a copy of the one with the mermaids holding their "fish nets" and it was hand-dated 1906.) Most wear shows up on the edges. The red card has a lightly creased bottom right corner. The card with the lone mermaid has a light crease across the rock. Some surface wear as to be expected for cards this old. Overall: quite a coup to get all five cards in this rare series! Would be most impressive matted and framed as a set.
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