Pam’s Pictorama Post: For those of you who are in it mostly for the Felix posts, there has been something of a Pictorama drought for you. You will be glad to know that there are several unusual and, if I might say so myself, quite interesting Felix posts just itching to be written over my vacation. I kick off the bonanza today with this postcard entry. This card hails from Great Britain, mailed from Brighton – Pictorama followers already know Brighton as a hot bed of early 20th century Felix-y activity and the origin point of many of my most delightful photos of people posing with giant Felix dolls on the beach. (One of those prior posts, Picture Perfect, can be found here.) I sometimes consider a trip to Brighton just to see if I can pick up the ghost of Felix fun past.
The hand-inked Felix postcard turns out to be something of a sub-genre and I have yet to fully unravel the mystery behind it. Years ago I discovered that here was factory in East London which employed otherwise out of work women to hand produce many of the delightfully off-model stuffed Felix toys I am so mad about today. (This post, in my own opinion one of my most fascinating discoveries, can be found here. It ranges from Felix toy production to suffragette activity – an amazing story really.) I wonder if these handmade cards were also produced by them or by another similar group. This group from my collection shown below appear to have light pencil lines for someone to follow.
Another version from a fairly recent post (which can be found here) is shown below, but that one had a slightly embossed quality suggesting a different method. And clearly from the drawing style these all originated from different hands.
When I look at today’s card I cannot help but feel that someone with a real feel for Felix expert would have probably done something clever where Felix’s tail becomes the question mark, but it’s an interesting sort of action pose otherwise. A bit awkwardly placed at the top of the card, it also shows signs of where it was unevenly inked by hand. I can’t help but wonder how hand inking these could possibly have been less expensive than printing them?
This card was mailed on September 11, from Brighton, but the year is obscured – there is a 4. ’24? ’34? It was mailed to Mrs. Irene Eden at 38 Rushman Road, Clapton, London. It roughly says the following: My Dear Rene, Hope you haven’t eaten up all my wedding cake. This is a photo of your Felix. Take care of it & I will tell you all about it when I come home. Give Olly and John a great-big kiss for me. Love Kim XXXXX Auntie Frances Uncle Charlie. Your Felix – I love that! Alas, that Felix tale, whatever it may have been, is lost to us now.