Fish Head Mermaid Fantasy Postcard

Postcard collecting is fascinating hobby, Postcard companies have printed some fantasy issues which caught the fancy among collectors worldwide.

Most are printed in Europe, United States, Latin America and Asia. There are different kinds of folklores from all over the world about mermaid.

While arranging some old postcards during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). The postcard was bought in 1973 and collected by my mom at a photo studio in Manila’s Chinatown which  sold photo postcards as souvenir for tourists, curiosity item and for local deltiologist.

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Fish head with human legs featured in postcard

Real Photo Postcard (RPPC types)

This type of postcard is called Real Photo Postcard (RPPC) types employed in the manufacture of most postcard images. It is a collective  term recognizes a distinction between the real photo process. It was quite popular in late 19th century in United Kingdom, Germany, Europe,United States eventually spreading in many parts of the globe by early part of the 20th century as photography get more accessible. The dimension is usually (3-1/2″ x 5-1/2″) as standard vintage postcards.

Among the first to use this type of medium were the rich aristocrats, royalties, those who wanted to remember their dead relatives or newly born child. It is sometimes called ” Recuerdo de Patay” memories of the dead. They are normally kept as mementos, keep sake or souvenir. Some local collectors would also collect the photos of prominent personalities like Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

Entrepreneurs hired them to record area events and the homes of prominent citizens, civic parade, birthdays, historical buildings, calamities among others.

This eventually became more popular as schools and personal family photos were printed with hundreds of copies sold either as souvenir class photo or for giveaway. Having one such opportunity would give glimpse of a rare opportunity for family members to keep their photos for remembrance. Since getting a photo is considered as luxury in the late 19th century to early 1900’s.

One can affix stamps at the back portion with simple message. This fish head with human torso is different from the usual mermaid postcard in the market. During those time there were already skeptic people which do not believe in these photos.

But it adds on the the overall appeal for the postcard collecting community. Glad to share this rare find.

Note: RPPC or RPP mermaid head is from the collection of the author

Sources and Bibliographies:

Personal communication with local postcard collectors

Bernhard, Willi: Bernhard Picture Postcard Catalogue: Germany 1870-1945, 1982

Sante, Luc: Folk Photography: The American Real-Photo Postcard 1905-1930, YETI Books, 2009

Smith, Jack H.: Postcard Companion: The Collector’s Reference, Wallace-Homestead, Radnor, PA, (1989)

Blast from the Past: Isko Moreno and Claudine Barretto Love Team

Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso or Yorme Isko Moreno long before becoming a successful politician and father of “Manila” the capital city had a colorful television and movie career.

During his early years as a budding movie star, Isko signed a contract with Seiko Films producer Mr. Robbie Tan and starred in several movies, and was paired with Ms. Claudine Barretto, notably Muntik na Kitang Minahal (1994), Eat All You Can (1994). Other films included Siya’y Nagdadalaga (1997), Exploitation (1997), Mga Babae sa Isla Azul (1998) and Misteryosa (1999).

According to some movie insiders, The pair was an instant click among movie goers that time.

Blast from the Past Photo

iskomoreno

This was a group photo of then Yorme Isko Moreno together with Ms. Claudine Barreto, Ms. Rica Peralejo, Ms. Camille Prats in school uniform. The other guy at the back could be Mr. Gio Alvarez.

I got this photo together with some of old photos during a collecting club auction/ subasta few months ago.

Just sharing this vintage haul while arranging my old photo collection.

Collection of Religious Chalkware in the Philippines ( Part 2)

In a recent visit to a mid-century ancestral house within Greenhills in San Juan City. I got a privilege to see some of the vintage religious chalk ware items that were on display in a family altar.

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Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Fatima were made from eskayola or chalkware

Some of the religious items are still in good condition while those expose to elements got a lot of chipping cause by natural elements and by people rubbing their hands.

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Last Supper wall decor made from eskayola/ escayola or chalkware probably made in the mid 1970’s or 1980’s

In my previous post, These chalk ware items are getting hard to come by, since very few people would make them.

Collection of Religious Chalkware

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Santo Niño and Our Lady of Lourdes were made from eskayola or chalkware probably in the early 1970’s.

We got about a dozen of religious chalkware, most of which were bought in different areas like Tayuman, Quiapo and Tondo by my mom. The oldest dated ones were probably bought around 1969 or 1970, while the latest one was bought around mid-1994 in Evangelista street, Quiapo district.

There were at least 2 or 3 broken religious chalkware or eskayola in our home kept in storage area. When we took the religious statues to a religious statue restorer, They told us that it would cost a few thousand of pesos just to restore the three items.

We are still thinking if it would be wise to let a professional religious restorer to restore the three broken religious statues or just left them as is.

Bibliographies and References:

Tara Hamling’s Decorating the “Godly” Household: Religious Art in Post-Reformation Britain (Yale University Press, 2010) explores the uses of large-scale religious figural and ornamental plaster moldings, mantels, wall panels, ceilings, and other interior architectural decoration in Protestant domestic spaces from 1560 to 1660.

Personal communications: Mr. Carlo Yap, Professor Dennis Maturan, Edgardo Gamo Jr., Diana Religious Supply Store, Maro Adriano, Salvacion de Vera and Mr. Peter Andres.

Collection of Religious Chalkware in the Philippines

Chalkware is a molded figurine or statues from plaster of paris or gypsum. These chalkware items were cheap, popular and mass produce in the country. There are still some local makers of chalkware in the country but confined to small items like figurines, souvenir items for baptism, wedding and zodiac sign statues sold in Divisoria or Chinatown during Chinese New Year celebration.

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year of the rat zodiac sign made from plaster of paris

Chalkware, Eskayola, Plaster of Paris, Carnival Chalkware

Chalkware started the rise in popularity in the later half of 19th century, in  Staffordshire, England, France, Spain, Italy and the United States.

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Photo courtesy of Professor Dennis Maturan

Chalkware is also called “Plaster of Paris” since large quantities of the material is found in Montmartre near Paris, France. Some would also refer the items made from these items as “Carnival Chalkware Figurines”. Small figurine items would be given as prizes in carnival and games during that era.

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Photo courtesy of Professor Dennis Maturan

It was late 19th century when local artists and craftsmen would use the medium and eventually became more common in the early part of the 20th century.  It is much cheaper compared to wood and can be mass produce in just within few days or weeks.

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photo courtesy of Professor Dennis Maturan

Locally referred to as”Eskayola“/ “Escayola”, The material has a centuries-long history in artist’s sculpture studios as well as interior architectural decoration, folk and religious art.

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Santo Niño de Prague made from eskayola ( photo courtesy of Professor Dennis Maturan)

Among the more famous artisan includes Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Mr. Isabelo Tampingco, Mr. Guillermo Tolentino and Mr. Maximo Vicente who would the medium in a lot of their works. Most of their artistic works are exhibited in the National Arts Gallery and other prominent galleries in the world.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/5we2yTnMkdChrJLc6

Sacred Heart of Jesus made from eskayola / chalkware probably in the 1970’s

The downside of eskayola/ escayola is that it is soft, breakable and heavy. According to a local artisan, who specializes on wedding figurines and small religious chalkware statues. During the height of their production in the late 1960’s to late 1990’s. They can make hundreds of figurine in just a couple of days ( small figurines 1 to 3 inches height).

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Blessed Virgin Mary made from eskayola / chalkware probably in the late 1970’s ( courtesy of Mr. Carlo Yap)

For small and medium sized religious figurines, It can take between 4 to 7 days. powdered gypsum is mixed with water, the gooey substance can be molded, shaped, or spread on surfaces. Molds are then removed and the surfaces are sanded or worked in various ways and with a range of tools, to smooth, refine, ornament and painting.

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Buddha figurines- the one at the left side was made from chalk ware

Among the popular countries to source these religious chalkware  were from Spain, Italy, France, United States, United Kingdom and Portugal. Some of the items were sold in pre-war Estrella del Norte in Escolta street. The items were an important conversational pieces in pre-war Manila. The collector would focus on the items which had brand name or those with signatures of famous makers or artisan.

Chalkware fragility, and art form is part of the overall appeal. In this regard, they seemed almost human, evoking the characteristic like frailties, hardship and mortality.

Local artisan would also craft wall decor, statues, coin banks,Buddha figurines and nativity scenes from plaster of paris materials.

My aunt told me that almost everyone would have these types of figurines during its heydays.

Catholic Trade in Tayuman, Santa Cruz would specializes in these types of religious chalkware until in mid-1980’s, while some local religious stall and peddlers would still have these types of chalkware until the early part of 2000.

Engineer Celso Buccat was among the first who started making fiber resin statues in the early 1980’s and the technology quickly spread among local artisan and prices of statues drop significantly. 

I can still remember that my mom was able to purchase a holy family statue in Evangelista street, Quiapo early part of 1994 for just few hundred of pesos.

Superstitious Beliefs

Several superstitious belief arose in handling of religious chalkware. One such belief is that whenever one breaks the statue, one must bury or burn the broken statues within the property. One must not throw the religious images on the garbage bin. Another belief is that one must offer the broken image at the nearest chapel or church.

Now, A big portion of religious statues are made from fiber resin, plastic or imported from China or Taiwan.

It is a dying craft and only small items such as those sold for souvenir items are being made. Those who have these type of chalkware must try to cherish them.

Bibliographies and References:

Tara Hamling’s Decorating the “Godly” Household: Religious Art in Post-Reformation Britain (Yale University Press, 2010) explores the uses of large-scale religious figural and ornamental plaster moldings, mantels, wall panels, ceilings, and other interior architectural decoration in Protestant domestic spaces from 1560 to 1660.

Personal communications: Mr. Carlo Yap, Professor Dennis Maturan, Edgardo Gamo Jr., Diana Religious Supply Store, Maro Adriano, Salvacion de Vera and Mr. Peter Andres.

Vintage Hauls at Greenfield Weekend Market

It was overcast and humid saturday late afternoon when two of my blogger friends, juanderingbulakenyo,pinoyvintagekolektor continued our extended walking tour.  While three other friends decided to spend their time in SM Megamall.

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vintage items like magazines, stamps, stickers, posters, bottles, toys, coin holders, NBA cards, posters among other stuff.

Greenfield Weekend Market Vintage Hauls

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We manage to have a short walking tour of Greenfield district around past 4:00 pm. The district is home to several well-known venue place, restaurants,NAWASA water cement tower, decade old trees, manicured lawn spaces, ornamental flowering trees, statue, mid-century warehouses / buildings turned into commercial spaces and condominium buildings.

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Mr. Jose Yao Campos bust

Greenfield district is a combination of residential, commercial, industrial,education and places of worship are located. Used to work at the nearby One San Miguel building few years ago.

Shopping malls, schools and universities are located within 15 to 20 minutes leisurely walk. But the one which attracts foodies even expat community is the Greenfield Weekend Market. The semi-permanent stalls are there for a while and there are live bands performing on a rotation basis.

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Greenfield Weekend Market entrance

 We were greeted by two friendly sales agent which gave a few insights on the weekend market which according to them were also pet friendly.

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Our group decided to eat light snacks and lemonade. The lemons are neatly arranged on ferris wheel.

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bucheron

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photo booth area

We explored within the stalls at the back portion. Amaze with some of the stalls selling pre-owned books,vintage items, coins, stamps, portrait sketches, magazines, stickers, coin banks, toys and cassette tapes. There is also a tarot card booth where one can pay a small fee for reading one’s fortune.

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My friend also bought 2 pre-owned books, then our group decided to leave the place since it started raining hard and winds blowing off our umbrellas.

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Mr. Eric David sketch artist booth

Being a collector, I was able to buy some vintage stamps and coins in one of the booth.

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framed banknotes, photos, coins and stamps for sale

We were able to ask the security guards on the possibility of other activities within the area like bird watching and guided walk.

Overall, the weather is quite uncooperative but our vintage hauls were the ones that we would cherish.

Our group will surely come back for more exciting food, tree walk, bird watching, chilling down or just walking within the district exploring and admiring mid-century architecture.

Note : Greenfield Weekend Market usually starts from 4:00 pm till 12:00 midnight

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