Today's post introduces a good website and also recovers the somewhat disturbing era of postcards made out of DEER HIDE. In the postcard trade, they are now known as "leather" postcards in deference to Bambi. These are not particularly "good" leather postcards, just disturbing. As with everything, I'm drawn to the most curious and somewhat pathetic examples. There ARE some spectacular pieces around and they seem to be one of the more active areas of postcardology. Remember that woodburning kit you father finally trusted you with back in 6th Grade? These are sorta like that. Primarily desired not for their artistic skills, but for their scarcity. They were made for only about five years, from 1900-1905 or so, as the Post Office banned them (!) A shame, as the cards, or rather little squares of deerskin (let's be honest) had pre-punched holes so you could use them in craft projects. See above, a splendid example of a make-do satchel or pillow made from a small herd of them. Ingenious. It looks like a Native American bag, with the sinew-like lacing and fringe...I guess it could be. Plenty of tribes were still active in 1900, and they were certainly familiar with animal skin. Maybe they made a few.
Anyway, I learned about my leather "cards" from Postcardcollector.org which is a fun and worthy site. They encourage folks to show off, so the site is full of goofy examples, and their seems to be a good dialog going on. I just joined. I suggest you all do too. HERE
Leather handmade postcard bag, circa 1910 From Postcardcollector.org
Group of Primitive Leather Postcards, circa 1905 Collection Jim Linderman