This Group celebtrates Boring, ordinary, dull, commercial Postcards that feature aspects of our everyday life – such as streets, roads, houses -- and are, in a strange way, interesting because they are so uninteresting. Join in and share your Postcards of our Boring world.

Location: Sigean, France
Members: 58
Latest Activity: 10 hours ago

Discussion Forum


Started by Valentine Mark Herman. Last reply by Bradford Jul 3. 5 Replies

i) From Val Hermanii) A room in the House for the Blind, Halluin, (19) France, (sent 18 July, 1975)iii) I think this Postcard is Boring because of it's utter bleakness. There is nothing of interest…Continue


Started by Valentine Mark Herman. Last reply by Valentine Mark Herman May 21. 3 Replies

i) From Val Hermanii) La Piscine des Cheminots/ Swimming Pool for railway Workers, La Garde-Adhemar (20 France). Emma-Marie Cahuc sent this to M et Mme Messaoud in Montauban, and told them that she…Continue

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Comment by Heleen de Vaan on July 8, 2020 at 4:47pm

I think W. Reginald Bray a great mail artist. John Tingey’s book ‘The Englishman who posted himself’ (he did!) gives a wonderful overview of his postal investigations.

Thank you for sharing those great pictures, also the older illustrated envelopes, Val!

By the way, Vincent Van Gogh illustrated his letters. In search of photos I found this website in which the English translations was added: 
(sorry, no boring postcards yet..) 

Comment by Jennifer Wallace on July 8, 2020 at 12:22pm

Wow, Valentine (or do you prefer Val) - they're wonderful!

But it looks as if the Postal History Boutique Group has gone into hibernation. A pity?

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on July 8, 2020 at 11:14am

Thanks Jennifer.

(Take a look at the Postal History Boutique Group, now run by Angie and Snooky, that I started in 2011 that looks at some of these 'historical' questions)

I think that Reginald Bray was the first Mail Artist in the IUOMA sense because he took in 1898 he got a copy of  the official British Post Office Guide and decided how far he could push the rules -- just like many of us do in IUOMA.

But he wasn't the first mail artist? When there was mail but no postal service (ie pre-1840) someone, somewhere, must have illustrated a letter. The first postage stamp and mail I was know it now started in Britain on 1 May, 1840, with the Penny Black stamp. On the same day the Government issued postal stationary letters and sheets, known as Mulready envelopes, that were valid fro 6 May, 1840. They were illustrated as you can see:

They were withdrawn after a few years, by which time envelopes and stamps were the postal norm.

But, of course, people started decorating the envelopes (and postcards). Here is one from 1881, "...depicting two men tricking a Policeman and a Postman into thinking that they are listening to a Phonograph":

And now let's get back to Boring Postcards.

Comment by Jennifer Wallace on July 7, 2020 at 12:47pm

19th century mail art - early in Mr Bray's lifetime, but when did he first start on testing out the postal service?

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on July 7, 2020 at 12:30pm

Hi Katerina!

I'm impressed. Very impressed. First, that you have kept the card for almost 60 years. Second, that you have kindly sent it to me. Third, that you must have had the makings of a mail artist when you were in high school -- you must have been one of the first prota-mail artists, and here you are almost 60 years later*. And last, you seem to have endless collections of mail art and other 'stuff' -- but not ones of US stamps or floppy discs that you have kindly given to me in the past.


* No doubt this will spark off a debate about who was the first ever mail artist, when did mail art begin, etc.  I nominate W. Reginald Bray: see John Tingey's 'The W Reginald Bray Appreciation Society' Group here. (But this is the sort of discussion that could go on and on and on --rather like the one that tries to pin down when 'rock'n'roll was first invented/started/named/played, etc). As to my own humble beginnings as a mail artist,  I have the very first letter that was sent to me by my uncle in 1946 when I was one day old.

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on July 6, 2020 at 11:47pm

Yes, indeedy, Val, that one postcard from Canada was sent to me when I was in high school , (it is postmarked 11 July 1961) and I was living in the town of Cicero, which borders on the Chicago city limits.

Sooo, let's say that it is "sent from Cicero" Sigean :-)

Boring postcards can have such fascinating stories!

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on July 6, 2020 at 5:11pm


Three (or Four?) sets of thanks, Katerina.

1. Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta, Canada

The Lodge is in the Jasper National Park...."A renowned resort in the Canadian Rockies, the Lodge offers the finest in Western hospitality with superb lake and mountain views."

Katerina says that it was sent -- to her?? -- in 1961 by Cicero, of Chicago

2. Holiday Inn of Cambridge, Mass

At 1651 Mass Ave, and .."Handsome in Harvard Red Brick and enameled steel, the 135-room motor hotel offers an expert blending of hotel services and motel informality. Restaurant -- Cocktail Lounge -- Banquet facilities -- Free Parking -- Air conditioning."


Katerina got this in 1977

3. (and 4?) Carte postale verso-verso, by Tony Mazzocchin

Here's the first 'verso'

And here's the second 'verso'

The difference? The figure bottom left -- in one a post-person riding on a pen, in t'other a postperson riding on a scooter

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on July 3, 2020 at 11:52am


Kiitos No Idea!

Identifiable Old Car and ultimately unidenifiable Dog

The car is a 1902 Beaufort (racing model). The photo was taken in The UK.

I asked IDID (our International Dog Identification Department) what sort of Dog was in front of the car. After several hours of research, several glasses of wine, and and a failed attempt to charge me $1.99 for their work, I was told that 'It was a big brown hairy dog, aka a long-haired golden retriever.'

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on June 30, 2020 at 7:10pm


Where does he keep finding them, i wonder?

Thanks Mikel...keep on finding them, please.

1. Mahablipuram, Madras (India)

This elephants is obviously quite stoned.

2. Peak Tower Restaurant, Hong Kong

An old postcard, but the Restaurant seems still to be there.

(Jennifer: another Hong Kong one. Can you shed any light on the naming of the Restaurant, that is neither a Peak nor a Tower [looks like the top of a big boat, methinks])

Extra marks, as usual, for identifying the cars

3.  Vilha Velha, Brazil

'(Etat de Paiaia). Erosion éolienne' it says on the back

Comment by Jennifer Wallace on June 29, 2020 at 11:10pm

Valentine - the 'Aberdeen -- Night Scene with Floating Restaurants' will be from Hong Kong. The floating village there started as somewhere local fishing people lived, but of course has developed as a tourist attraction. In the 99 years the British had HK, they went round giving all and everywhere British names - of course!


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