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