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A Postcard Collector Writes: An Occasional Series #5

As an avid collector of postcards, I am often asked: what is the rarest and most precious postcard in your collection and under what circumstances would you part with it? Such questions are not easily answered but in the case of the last, I would have to say: whenever the right money offer comes in.

A postcard of interest at the moment is one of the Threadbone Gallery, Crendell which dates from September 2006. It was in that year that the Gallery featured an exhibition of paintings by Threadbone protegé, artist, amanuensis and nut-tightener Enriqué de los Chicos Perdidos, better known to many as Enrique the ex-Spanish Boy Scout.

Reference in yesterday's Church Knowle Metro to Enriqué's appearance in the "The Big Tent" at the Melcombe Horsey Book Festival next Wednesday sent me scurrying through my drawers in search of said postcard - a memento of my visit to the Exhibition in the company of my mother, sister Hippolyta and young brother Cyprian. Happily, we chanced to meet the artist himself who took a definite shine to Cyprian, even offering to accelerate his acceptance in to the Canford Cliffs Cub Scouts (he was on close personal terms with Akela and had enjoyed a brief "bunk-up" with Bagheera). Alas Cyprian was more inclined towards Beavers and the offer was never taken up.

For me, however, the highlight of the day was unquestionably a close encounter with the hugely impressive "Autoretrato con la Revista" [Self Portrait with Magazine] [dated 1996 by the artist but possibly in error - See Pamela Baden-Trowell (2017) Paintings by Enriqué, Threadbone ARTs, The Threadbone Press] which featured a defiantly naked Enriqué clutching a copy of the famous Lost Spanish Boy Scout's Magazine [British Edition] in which he himself had featured. Such strength, such definition, such attitude! As an impressionable young woman, I felt a strong inclination to take him home with me and try to uncover the secret of the little man behind the Magazine!

It was almost an afterthought which prompted me to part with hard-won pocket money to purchase a postcard of that magnificent portrait, though I have never regretted it. Stanley Threadbone's Guide for Deltiologists 2018 suggests that a mint copy is now worth upwards of £3.45p but I wouldn't part with mine for anything - well not for anything less that £4 that is!!

Artemisia Spinster

Dorset Society of Deltiologists

Canford Magna


The Threadbone Gallery, Crendell's own curator of postcards Dr Eunice Stickler notes that Ms Spinster's postcard is in fact an Ambrotype and, as such, comparatively rare. Full colour postcards produced by the lithographic process were common by 2006 and certainly "on sale at the Gallery at the time of her visit, albeit at twice the price".

'These still photographs made the invisible visible, the unnoticed noticed, the complex simple and the simple complex. The power of the still photograph forms symbolic structures and make the image a reality', Dr Stickler writes incomprehensibly. The point is perhaps better made by the simple act of viewing the lithographic version [HERE] or indeed the original portrait [HERE]. Those viewing the images are reminded that copyright applies and that no amount of scratching will reveal what lies behind the Magazine.

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