Sentiments in Silk

Silk postcards from World War I are fascinating collectibles, offering a glimpse into communication from over a century ago. These postcards are not merely keepsakes but historical documents that provide insight into the war’s personal side.

For collectors, certain aspects elevate a card’s value. Cards that feature a soldier’s full name or service number are particularly sought after. They allow for personal histories to be unearthed, connecting us to individual stories from the past. However, it’s worth noting that many cards were sent within envelopes, obscuring these details.

Regiment-specific cards often fetch a higher price. Limited production means they’re rarer, thus more desirable to collectors. Similarly, cards with inserts—some even hand-painted—are especially valuable. These inserts enhance the uniqueness of each card.

The Army Service Corps card has an insert containing a poignant pencilled message dated 16/1/18. While it lacks the soldier’s full identity, preventing us from learning his fate, the message captures a moment in time—a snapshot of enduring human connection amidst conflict: “all the things in all the world cannot express how much you are loved by your loving husband Bert, 16/1/18”.

In contrast, standard flat cards without inserts, though still valuable, are more common and lack the personalized touch that can significantly increase a postcard’s worth.

Silk postcards are more than just collector’s items; they are artifacts that reflect the era’s communication methods and the personal experiences of soldiers and their families. Each card tells a part of a larger story, and for collectors, the chase is as much about the narrative as it is about the item.