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

Collection of Unique and Rare "Shanah Tovah" Greeting Cards and Postcards

Opening: $500
Sold for: $2,750
Including buyer's premium

An assortment of "shanah tovah" postcards and greeting cards, including some rare and unique cards. Palestine, Russia, Italy, Hungary and elsewhere, first half of the 20th century.
30 postcards and greeting cards, including:
• Rare card printed in Saint Petersburg (Russian censorship authorization dated 1902). On one side, an early version of "Hatikvah" – the anthem of the Zionist Movement, and ultimately the anthem of the State of Israel. On the other side, a verse from the Book of Isaiah.
• Rare postcard with a print depicting the "Torat Eretz Israel" yeshiva in Safed (established in 1905).
• An undivided-back Italian postcard with small illustrations of Jerusalem, the Western Wall and the Cave of the Patriarchs (Cavazzuti lithographic press, Modena).
• A folding postcard with a pressed flower. Gilt inscription: "500 reward if we cannot prove that our flowers have been imported from Palestine" (Chicago; sent in 1911).
• "Shanah tovah" postcard with a picture of Yemenite Jews. Sent to Ramatayim, from a German prisoner of war, Victoria (Australia), 1941.
• Postcard with a photograph of the Palestine Orchestra, signed by the administrator of the orchestra (Tel-Aviv, 1945).
• Postcard with portraits of Mendele Mocher Sforim, Hayim Nahman Bialik, Ahad Ha'am, Nahum Sokolow and Judah Leib Gordon. "Shanah tovah" greeting handwritten on verso.
• Two greeting cards designed as passports and two greeting cards designed as "citizenship certificates". 1920s.
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