Irish Music & Song Postcards, early 1900s


The Irish music postcards reproduced below from the collections of the Irish Traditional Music Archive are mystery items of uncertain date. All are lovingly designed and executed, seemingly by the artist William O’Duane. From a rubber-stamp advertisement on one, they may have been produced by the Dublin postcard publisher Fergus O’Connor of Dublin, possibly in the 1920s. They are nationally minded, appearing in two series ‘Eire go Bragh’ (Ireland for ever) and ‘An Seantír go Deo’ (The old land for ever). The first series as held in the ITMA collection is numbered consecutively from 178 to 185, but it is not known if there were more in the series. The second series is unnumbered and ITMA holds only two postcards from it. All were purchased in the George’s Street Arcade, Dublin; four (178, 180, 181, 182) by Dermot McLaughlin in September 1989 and donated by him to ITMA, the remainder by ITMA in February 1990. None had been used.

The song postcards are less mysterious, although they seem older. ‘Molly Bawn’, one of a ‘National Series’ was posted in 1904, and the others, undated, were produced by the large English firm of Bamforth in Holmfirth.

ITMA would like to acquire other items from these or similar series, and to find out more about these ones. Answers on a postcard, please…

With thanks to Dermot McLaughlin.

NC & TH, 1 December 2011

Irish Music & Song Postcards, early 1900s