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byJohn Cannon and Brian Jones


Although Gilbert and Sullivan postcards fall within the scope of many collectors, little has been published on the subject - a matter brought into focus by several enquiries we had received for basic information regarding the lengthy Parkslee series cards. These cards were published in the 1920s, and evoke sepia memories of the spectacularly successful London seasons at the Prince's Theatre, of the New Company, of the style and poise of Henry Lytton, Bertha Lewis, Sydney Granville, Darrell Fancourt. The late Brian Jones published two short articles in Gilbert & Sullivan News in London in 1990 and 1991. The articles prompted responses from Gilbert and Sullivan collectors on both sides of the Atlantic, and it became possible to produce an extensive listing of material. The listing is comprehensive, but not yet complete — postcards were published by so many different publishers and marketed or distributed in so many different ways that, even now, hardly a postcard fair goes by without something being rediscovered.

Information in the listing section has been supplied by many enthusiasts. We should like in particular to thank Katie and Irene Barnes, Peter Joslin, Maurice Farrar for his discovery of Parkslee B cards in New Company relatives' albums, Jesse Shereff, J. Donald Smith and David Stone in the United States, and George Low in Munich.

When this article was originally written in 1995 an illustrated web site was not envisaged and we are very grateful to Paul Howarth and David Stone for their initiative, time and expertise in implementing this. Details, with or without images, of new cards for possible inclusion would be welcomed by David Stone.


  1894 — The Origin of Theatrical Postcards in Britain
1. Raphael Tuck & Sons
2. Rotary Cards
3. Parkslee
4. G and S, Gilbertian and Savoyard cards
5. Beagles — J. B.& Co
6. "D'Oyly Carte Opera Co" cards
7. Daily Sketch
8. J. C. Williamson Co., Australia
9. D'Oyly Carte Opera Co — other publishers
10. Advertising Cards for Amateur Societies
11. Gilbert, Sullivan and D'Oyly Carte
12. Sullivan hymns, songs etc.
13. Gilbert’s works
14. American cards
15. Cards from other countries
16. Oddities
17. Rarity and Value


We hope the following lists will prove useful. We cannot claim to have tracked every card with a Gilbert and Sullivan relevance, but we believe this is the most comprehensive listing ever published.

The lists concentrate on the Gilbert and Sullivan works and Savoy operas, but certain examples of artists in other roles may be of special interest for Savoyard followers. A listing of examples has been included.

1. Raphael Tuck & Sons
  Play Pictorial Series
    The Yeomen of the Guard
    The Gondoliers
  Celebrities of the Stage (and other series)

Details of Tuck cards featuring D'Oyly Carte artists in A Princess of Kensington are included at the end of this listing.

2. Rotary
  The Mikado Second Repertory Season 1908-9
  HMS Pinafore Second Repertory Season 1908-9
  The Pirates of Penzance Second Repertory Season 1908-9
  Cards from the Personal and Play Series

Rotary cards of A Princess of Kensington are included at the end of this listing.

3. Parkslee
  Main Series
    Cards 1-30
    Cards 31-60
    Cards 61-90
    Cards 91-120
    Cards 121-150
    Cards 151-172
  B Series
    Cards B1-B67
    Cards B68-B101

Many of the Parkslee cards were issued at several different times. Inconsistencies are to be seen: the principal one being that Parkslee appears as ‘Parksle’ with only one ‘e' quite frequently. Possibly the ‘Parksle’ versions are the earlier ones. There are examples of cards 5 and 135 with the opera described as ‘The Yeoman of the Guard'; the mistaken version of 5 gives the publisher as Parkslee, whereas the correct version of the opera is credited to Parksle. Sydney Granville sometimes appears as 'Sidney Granville' - he signed his autographs ‘Sydney'. Sidney Pointer appears on some cards as ‘Sydney'.

Many of the earlier cards are identical to or details from the Last Night souvenir given out to the audience at the end of the 1919-20 season.

4. G and S, Gilbertian and Savoyard cards
  G and S

5. Beagles - J. B.& Co

6. Daily Sketch

7. Cards with imprint "D'Oyly Carte Opera Co"
  New Company
  post 1928

8. D'Oyly Carte Opera Co — Other publishers
    APPS, Ltd, Rickmansworth (published c 1901)
    Bassano (photographer, spanning until at least     1923)
    The Eventoscope Music Series ‘Old Savoyards’
    Foulsham & Banfield
    Daily Mirror
    Dover Street Studios (photographer)
    Durrant (photographer)
    Ellis and Walery (photographer)
    Hills & Saunders, Oxford (published c 1912)
    Paterson's, Glasgow
    J. J. Samuels (J. S.& Co)
    Whitlock & Sons

9. Other publishers
  1920s and 1930s
    Fielding, Leeds
    Harrison's Studio, 68 Meadow Road, Leeds
    Hills & Saunders, Oxford (photographer)
    Nunn, Brighton
    Samuels Ltd.
    Sasha (photographer)
    Tatler and Bystander
    Trattles, Photo Reproductions, Leeds
    Valentine, Hampstead

10. D'Oyly Carte Opera Co
               no publisher or photographer named

11. J. C. Williamson and Other Australian Cards

12. 1951 Pineapple Poll

  1989 Tour
  1990 Tour

14. Gilbert’s works
  Creatures of Impulse
  Fairy’s Dilemma, The
    David Allen & Co
    D. F. & Co (Delittle Fenwick)
    W. G. Pollard
    Valentine’s Series
    Scenic card (publisher not named)
  His Excellency
  Pygmalion and Galatea
    D. F. & Co (Delittle Fenwick)
    Guttenberg, Manchester

15. A Princess of Kensington
    Tuck Series 10 I and 10II
    Tuck's ‘Oilette’ Stage Favourites
    J. B.& Co (Beagles)
    M.E.& Co (Ettlinger)
    The Wrench series
    Other Publishers

15. Other Cards
    Portraits of D'Oyly Carte Artistes, etc.
    Continental (European) Cards
    American Cards
    Cards by Various Artists

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