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Raphael Tuck's 1906 Historical Postcard Series of Scottish Clans

The late Jamie Scarlett MBE very kindly donated to the Authority, his collection of antique Scottish Clan Postcards produced by the famous Raphael Tuck company of London. Each card shows the clan tartan,clan emblem, plant and either the traditional clan seat or a picturesque landscape from the clan's traditional 'stomping ground.'

These delightful and evocative paintings are a unique historical reminder of the immediate post Victorian period and are now available from the Scottish Tartans Authority as Melamine* Table Mats measuring 276mm x 196mm (approx 11 x 8 inches). Each mat has been faithfully reproduced from the original - complete with the slight scuff marks and the age blemishes that you would expect in a 106 year old! They radiate a fascinating aura of a much-loved and graceful bygone era.

The Cameron - Achnacarry Castle The Campbell - Loch Awe The Chisholm - Strathglass The Drummond - Barwick Falls The Farquharson - Braemar Castle The Fergusson - Loch Voil The Forbes - Forbes Castle The Fraser - Beaufort Castle The Gordon - Gordon Castle The Grant - Grant Castle The MacAlpine The MacArthur - Loch Awe The MacAulay - Ardincaple Castle The MacDonald - Glen Coe The MacDougal - Dunolly Castle The MacDuff - Lochnagar The MacFarlane - Loch Lomond The MacGregor - Loch Tay The MacIntosh - Moy Hall The MacKay - Tongue House The MacKenzie - Loch Maree The MacLean - Duart Castle The MacLeod - Glen Sligachan, Skye The MacNab - Burying Ground, Killin The MacNeill - Chisamil Castle The MacRae - Loch Duich The Menzies - Castle Menzies The Munro - Fowlis Castle The Murray - Blair Castle  The Ogilvie - Cortachy Castle The Robertson - Loch Rannoch The Rob Roy - Bridge of Dochart The Stewart - Inverness The Sutherland - Dunrobin Castle Buchanan Thumb Gunn Thumb Sinclair Thumb Urquhart Thumb Highland Piper 1 Thumb Highland Piper 2 Thumb Seaforth Highlanders Pipe Major Thumb Scots Guards 2 Thumb MacIntyre Thumb MacNaughton Thumb

 

Raphael Tuck & Sons

The legendary Raphael Tuck was born in East Prussia (now part of Germany) in 1821 and emigrated to England in 1865 with his wife Ernestine and their seven children. His first business venture was in London in 1866 with a picture framing shop that also sold prints and furniture. Four years later three of his sons joined the business and within 12 months they had started production of their first greetings cards including special ones for Christmas - a market to which they introduced many new features.

In 1880 they innovatively organised a competition to encourage new greeting card designs and in 1881 Raphael's son Adolph took over as Managing Director. As early as 1883 their pre-eminence in the publishing field - they had by now expanded into scrap books, postcards and all manner of publishing - was recognised by the Scotsman newspaper that enthused:

"Those who seek to make Christmas Cards as good as works of art do great and meritorious service to the community. Among those who certainly render such service Messrs. Raphael Tuck and Sons must have a foremost place. They all reflect great credit on the taste and the enterprise of the publishers. Each and all off them will be prized by all people of good taste."

The Post Office was rather pernickety in Victorian times and Adolph was a leading campaigner in getting them to relax their restrictions on the postcard sizes to allow him to produce today's full-size cards measuring 5.5 inches by 3.5 inches and by 1904 the firm had over 15,000 designs in production.

It was ironic that when much of the world was displaying Raphael Tuck Christmas cards on its mantelpieces, one of the worst air raids of World War II on 29th December 1940 completely destroyed Raphael House in London and all Tuck's records and archives including many priceless originals.

However, such was the huge popularity of the Tuck cards that they were distributed around the world in their millions and so the rich heritage created over a period of 60 years was not lost but remains to captivate collectors to this day.

Little is known of the Scottish Clans series except that they were published around 1906 and admirably represent the sentimental way in which the world saw Scotland at that time.

Clans in the Heritage Table Mat Collection

Pipers

*Melamine
Melamine forms the most durable surface and these flock-backed table mats are stain & scratch resistant; heat resistant to 150 dg C (300dg F); have excellent insulation properties and a long life - the Raphael Tuck designs are sealed under the surface of the mat.





© Scottish Tartans Authority
Scottish Tartans Authority (Scottish limited company no. 162386), c/o J & H Mitchell, 51 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5BU
Scottish Charity Number SCO24310

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