Leather Post Cards Once a Popular Item

Question: While opening some old wooden boxes in my garage recently, I found a number of leather post cards. Some have the designs and pictures pressed and embossed on them, others are painted or printed. The leather is light tan.

On many of them the post card is imprinted with lines for the address on one side. The cancellations are around 1900 or shortly after. A few still have Franklin 1-cent green stamps on them. Most were sent from towns in Minnesota.--G.A.D.

Answer: You don’t ask a question, but I’ll tell you what they are and their value. Around 1900, collecting and exchanging picture post cards became extremely popular all over the world. Leather post cards were a gimmick made to add variety to the new hobby of sending and receiving post cards.

They are worth from $1 to $5 each on the average, some more (if rare or unusual), some less. They are not scarce and many post card dealers have large quantities of them for sale.


The study and collection of post cards is called deltiology, a popular hobby in the last 15 years, with some card prices rising a lot. Yours are interesting but probably not valuable.

Q: I have some stamps that I bought in Iran in 1969 when the shah was in power. They depict him on the large blocks and him and his wife on the singles: One block of 100/25 D., one block of 100/10 D. and one block of 40/1 R., plus assorted singles.

The glue is wearing off of the backs of them. Are they worth anything at all or are they just mementos?--M.G.

A: They are worth from a few cents to about $1 each. What you describe could be many different issues. See the Scott catalogues at a library to more closely identify your stamps or take them to any stamp dealer.


Q: In 1948, I completed a Scott’s United States Stamp Map for an audio-visual requirement toward a teaching credential. It is about 3-by-4 feet, mounted on plywood under glass in a walnut frame.

The stamps on this map are all canceled. They include national parks, famous Americans, the presidential series, airmail issues and many commemoratives. Can you advise me how to go about selling this?--G.B.

A: Collectors are attracted to stamps, not to displays or handsome frames. The value of the stamps alone will determine the philatelic worth of your “stamp map,” and, from your description, you probably have mostly common issues but maybe some expensive ones. It may be inconvenient to carry this thing around, but if you could show it to a stamp dealer you would get a quick, expert opinion on its value.

Q: I would like to know the worth of British Commonwealth Peace issues. I purchased them when they first came out. Also, the $5 wine stamp.--J.S.

A: I assume you are referring to the 1945-46 Peace Issue set of 164 stamps issued by British Commonwealth nations after World War II. Current catalogue value for all of them is $30.95.

There are several different U.S. wine revenue stamps of $5 denomination, ranging in market value from about $3 to $25, depending on the particular issue (see a Scott U.S. Specialized catalogue under the “RE” section).

Barry Krause, a member of several national stamp-collecting organizations, cannot answer mail personally but will respond to philatelic questions of general interest in this column. Do not telephone. Write to Your Stamps, You section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.