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1920s Flower Fairy Postcards


A collection of original 1920s flower fairy postcards, printed by the Medici Society Ltd London, the water colour illustrations by Margaret W Tarrant. Titled "Fairies of the Countryside" these illustrations were all part of the 1920s trend for the belief in fairies, and fairy-mania, sparked by the 'Cottingley Fairies' discovery.

"It was just Elsie and I having a bit of fun. I can't understand to this day why people were taken in - they wanted to be taken in". They did, for the 'Cottingley Fairies' offered a glimmer of hope to a traumatised nation - still reeling from the horrors of the First World War and the 1918 influence pandemic. If fairies were real, then perhaps death did not equal the extinction of identity.  The advances in science now teach us otherwise, yet the land of make-believe is a tonic, and these transportive postcards are just that - delivering us into a beautiful fairy world. 


In 1917, and again in 1920, two schoolgirl cousins went into the local woods near their village of Cottingley, Yorkshire, and took photographs of paper cut-outs of fairies attached to hat pins. A gentle breeze stirred their wings, and the slight blur in their images suggested movement. Their prank then spiralled out of control. Theosophists, spiritualists, and other wonder seekers championed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, took the Cottingley fairy photographs as clear proof of the existence of the supernatural. It took until the 1980s for the two girls, now grandmothers, to declare it a spoof. Yet was it? Watch the BBC's Antiques Roadshow Youtube clip of Cottingley Fairies series 31, episode 13.

Margaret Winifred Tarrant (19 August 1888 – 29 July 1959) who painted these illustrations was an English illustrator, and children's author, specializing in depictions of fairy-like children and religious subjects. She began her career at the age of 20, and painted and published into the early 1950s. She was known for her children's books, postcards, calendars, and print reproductions. Her adorable, naturalistic illustrations were widely known and very popular, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, when she was very prolific and at the peak of her fame.

Dimensions: Length 14.5cm  Width 9cm

Country of origin: UK

Printed by: Medici Society Ltd London

Condition: good, and all but one, The Cherry Fairy, are unused and blank on the reverse - see image. The Cherry Fairy has a particularly charming note on its reverse, written to Ann on her one hundredth birthday: "How does it feel to be one hundred! I have heard how thrilling a game that is". She must have been blessed with fairy dust to live so long. 

We are selling these postcards separately. Please study image 3, and then make your choice in the box below - there is only one postcard of each.