Auction 91 Part 2 "Shanah Tovah" Postcards and Greeting Cards from the Collection of Dr. Haim Grossman

Collection of Early "Shana Tovah" Postcards and Greeting Cards – Germany, USA and Elsewhere – Second Half of the 19th Century – Postcard Addressed to Lucie Dreyfus, Wife of Alfred Dreyfus

Opening: $2,000
Sold for: $5,250
Including buyer's premium

Some 85 early "shana tovah" postcards and greeting cards. Germany, Austria, USA, Bohemia, Hungary, Romania and Turkey (Constantinople), [second half of the 19th century].
The collection includes: • Ornate "shana tovah" cards, some printed with golden ink, some on lace paper, some decorated with scraps, including a printed card with new year wishes in the feminine verb form (seldom appearing in print). • Two postcards focused on the Dreyfuss affair. One, printed in Romania, declares Dreyfuss' and Zola's innocence as well as "Vive la France!". This postcard, from 1898, is addressed to Lucie Dreyfus, wife of Alfred Dreyfus. • Six personal "shana tovah" letters, written in German and in Germanized Yiddish, some dated – 1866 to ca. late 19th century. Three of these are written on ornate stationery with Hebrew "shana tovah" wishes.
Size and condition vary.
Provenance: The Dr. Haim Grossman collection.

Dr. Chaim Grossman's Israeliana collection is exceptional in size, quality and variety. Grossman, an educator, historian and folklorist, was a methodical, knowledgeable and meticulous collector, and his deep understanding of Palestinian-Yishuv and Israeli material culture set the ground for a one-of-a-kind collection of mundane and less than mundane objects – from the ephemeral, the negligible, the widely available to the rare and singular.
The "shana tovah" collection left by Grossman – a considerable part of which is offered in the present auction – comprises thousands of postcards, cards, letters and other paper items made and sent year after year in, by and for Jewish communities: in Eastern and Western Europe, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, North Africa, North and South America, as part of the tradition of sending hand-written, hand-drawn or printed new year’s greetings, which originated in German Jewry but with the rise of postcards spread to most communities. The earliest items in the collection date to the 1860s; the latest were made in the late 20th century. It includes both beautifully designed, rare, early and singular postcards and cards, and mass-made, highly popular items sold in large quantities, in varying production quality and in dozens of repeating versions, each according to the technical abilities achieved by the local publication industry.
The collector's devotion to his collection is evident in the sheer number of items, in the wealth of techniques, visuals and themes, and in the thorough, intersectional categorization by period, origin, motif, technique and material. Glitter and relief embossing, scraps, lace and golden ink, lithography and celluloid transparencies, plastic, textile and metal decorations; Yiddish, Hebrew, English, Russian, French, Polish, German greetings; children, angels, families, pets, immigrants, travelers, professionals; portraits and tinted reproductions; Judaism, Zionism, the state, the army; the ritual and the mundane; any new year's greeting, in any form whatsoever, had a place in Grossman's collection and was honored as a historical testimony, as a timeless, invaluable treasure.

"Shanah Tovah" Postcards and Greeting Cards from the Collection of Dr. Haim Grossman