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

Large, Comprehensive Collection of Personalized Portrait Real-photo "Shana Tovah" Cards – Palestine/Israel, 1920s to 1970s

Opening: $18,000

Some 1300 personalized portrait real-photo "shana tovah" cards. Mandatory Palestine and the State of Israel, 1920s to 1970s (a number of later cards; some cards made in Poland, France and elsewhere).
The collection comprises numerous Zionist-inspired cards, depicting photos and drawings of holy sites In Palestine, important cities, landscapes and more, as well as trains, ships and airplanes symbolizing the Zionist aspiration of immigration to the holy land. Other cards depict a variety of military and Israeli themes: camels and date palms, map of Palestine/Israel, airplanes, naval and civilian ships, tanks, paratroopers, soldiers, Israeli flags, prickly pear hedges and more. A number of cards designed as JNF stamps; several cards featuring the Irgun emblem. Numerous festive cards depicting greeting cards, birds, flowers and more.
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