Friday, April 22, 2011

Vintage Easter Cards

Happy Easter, Byters.

Easter is a bit like the kid sister of Christmas: the holidays aren’t as long, there are no gifts except for chocolate eggs and people don’t send cards, although at one time they did. From 1898 to the beginning of WW2 it was popular to send Easter cards and some of them were bizarre and creepy.  Following is a selection of 20 cards to illustrate...

(Click on the pics to enlarge).

A funny looking baby with a giant basket of giant eggs is about to be attacked by monstrous chicks. Either that or the baby is a midget, like Thumbelina.  "Shoo!  Shoo!  Go away!"

Two giant sparrows wearing waistcoats with an egg full of tiny flowers are about to celebrate Easter the best way they know, by getting on the grog.

A militaristic message for Easter, complete with sabres and cannon, although this one fires eggs. Note the Prussian helmets, the card is German in origin.

While on the topic of Easter cards and Germans, how about this bizarre number. It dates from 1917 and depicts a German soldier and an Austro-Hungarian infantryman having captured a nervous looking Easter Bunny, eggs and all. It may be that instead of being a prisoner, the Easter Bunny is their guest, but my money is on the troops dining on rabbit that night, with eggs. The words above the Iron Cross read Merry Easter in German.

Another WW1 German Easter card. This one shows Mum and her two kids missing Dad, who is away at the front but whose ghostly image looks down on them. The little girl holds Easter eggs and there are decorated eggs and pussy willows on the table. The little boy is wearing a military uniform, which seems not to bother Mum at all. The message reads ‘The Heartiest Greetings for Easter’. Creepy on a lot of levels.

The Germans liked their Easter photographic cards with Dad as a ghostly spirit looking down. This time the kids have captured the giant rabbit aka The Easter Bunny. More eggs and pussy willows.

The Prussian Easter Artillery on the move. Why does it show Prussians and have a message in English? It dates from 1908, long before the US and Germany were at war (the US entered WW1 in 1917), the cards being sold and distributed in America as well.

Another militaristic Easter card, the staff car being powered by pussy willows. Actually, in some churches at the time pussy willows were symbolic of the resurrection and the immortality of the soul.


To Mr & Mrs Rabbit, a brand new daughter, of immense size and a different species.

Does anyone else find rabbits walking on two legs and wearing clothes a little icky? How about rabbits on two legs, wearing clothes and playing tennis with an Easter egg?

This looks more like a scene from Watership Down. Hands up those who thought of roast rabbit when they read the word “Hearty”?

Two very unhappy looking rabbits, both of whom resemble boy rabbits, with some gay allusions in the text. The world’s first gay Easter card?

So let me just get this right: the two kids are in half of what looks like a giant dinosaur eggshell, on a lake, the bunny is rowing and the boy is putting the moves on the girl. Yeah, I guess that could be an Easter message.

No animals were harmed during the making of this Easter card.

Another wtf? moment.

This is not just weird, it’s sinister as well: soldiers, one of them yelling to the other; the female hiding; smashed eggs (her babies?). What were they thinking when they printed these?

An Easter dirigible flying the American flag, before the loss of the Hindenburg in 1937 effectively killed off thee airships.

The road equivalent of the dinosaur egg boat, also with bunny and boy and girl. If this is the road equivalent of the earlier eggshell boat card, I bet you he runs out of petrol and tries it on.

Somehow this doesn’t seem to capture the message of Easter. It is part of a series of women emerging from giant eggs.

Easter Bonus:

One more card:

That's no way to treat an Easter Bunny.


  1. I made the one with the girl and chics going on a trip

  2. How cute are those?
    Great vintage Easter shots. I am printing a few to make a banner for Easter for my fireplace.


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