Raphael Tuck & Sons

Ever since I took the time to browse through TuckDB, I have found so many great cards that I want! Everyone who collects postcards has heard about Tuck cards before, but what about the history behind them? TuckDB has an extensive history on their website about Tuck, which is the source for what I am writing below, so read on!

The man, the myth, the legend: Raphael Tuck. Raphael was born in 1821 in what was then Prussia. He married his wife Ernestine in 1848 and they ended up having seven children together. Three of their four sons comprised the “& Sons” in the name “Raphael Tuck & Sons,” go figure! In 1866, Raphael and Ernestine opened a shop in London that started out by selling pictures and frames, and only a few months later grew into a distributor of graphic art printing. The firm did black and white printing in their London offices and had the majority of their color printing done in Germany. During 1882, they opened a Paris branch and in 1885, a New York office opened. There were also offices in Berlin and Montreal.

In 1883, Queen Victoria granted Tuck & Sons the Royal Warrant of Appointment, which is when tradespeople can supply their goods or services to the royal court. The tradespeople can advertise that they are the supplier to the royal court, which is why you will see this on the back of Tuck cards:



Tuck issued its first regular series of postcards in 1899, which were a set of 12 views of London. Raphael died a year later in 1900, but luckily had his sons to carry on the business.

To read a more detailed history of Tuck’s relocations, contests, and other interesting facts, go to TuckDB!


Beautiful Trinidad card from TuckDB.

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2 Responses to Raphael Tuck & Sons

  1. Louise Wile says:

    yes, that thing is amazing. I found it a few years ago – and they keep adding to it. It’s handy to find out what cards are in a set. there’s also a site that deals with Tuck paper ephemera. Things change whenever you visit the TuckDB — different card appears … don’t know how they do it but it’s a great resource.

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