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The Grenville Collins Collection

The postcard seems at first glance a humble item, adorned with a snapshot of Blackpool perhaps, or the beach at Brighton. Delve a bit deeper and postcards can provide an incredible survey of 20th century events, people and places that few other sources can rival.

One such collection, which we are very proud to be representing, is that of Grenville Collins who has amassed one of the world's most comprehensive postcard collections of Turkey and the late Ottoman Empire, and has recently diversified into scenes from other countries and cultures, particularly those with strong Islamic heritage.

Grenville's long interest in Turkey (he lived near Bodrum in Southern Anatolia in the 1970s after managing iconic band The Kinks in the late 1960s) was the springboard for the theme of his collection. Coupled with this was the opportunity to purchase several books of postcards by Max Fruchtermann, who published Turkey's first commercial cards in 1895 and brought the European craze of sending and keeping picture postcards eastwards.

Grenville's collection has grown exponentially and now comprises over 10,000 images, all housed abroad, most of which have now been meticulously researched, catalogued and scanned for our website. The majority are from pre-World War One, the golden age of postcard collecting.