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An auction house on the Cumbria and Lancashire border in its third century of auctioneering will soon sell over 9,500 postcards of Cumbria. The collection is a lifetime of work by its owner and the postcards are organised into specific towns, areas, and manufacturers of postcards.

Specialist Valuer, Andy Bowden, says:

“This a fascinating collection, representing a comprehensive visual history of Cumbria.

“Postcards are more than just images. They serve as snapshots of a bygone era, capturing the essence of a time and place. This extensive collection provides a valuable snippet of social history and life in Cumbria from the early 1900s onwards.

 “Local history enthusiasts, collectors, and researchers are particularly likely to be interested in the Sankey postcards. These are highly sought after by collectors.”

Edward Sankey was a well-known local photographer in Barrow-in-Furness for many years, and later in Cumbria and the Northwest. Postcards were very popular during Edwardian and Georgian times. We believe the first Sankey cards started appearing around 1902.

Edward was a keen businessman and in 1923 he gained a patent for his specially designed printing machine. It allowed the Sankeys to print more postcards with greater speed, as well as produce smaller runs of cards for other publishers. The Sankeys owned a car. Thanks to their access to the Lake District and surrounding areas they made a ‘Tour of Lakeland’ series, which was novel at the time and popular with tourists and visitors to the region.

Simon Thompson, Assistant Manager Auctioneer and Valuer says:

 “Over the past few years, there has been a major project to catalogue Sankey’s work, which is now stored in the Cumbria Archives.

 “This auction will be popular with both the local community and collectors worldwide. It’s the largest private collection of Cumbrian postcards we have ever seen at 1818 Auctioneers.”

The online auction is open for bidding from 8 February at 10am and concludes on Sunday 25 February.