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As postcards becomes sources of nostalgia, a hobbyist pays tens of thousands of dollars for collection

It is somewhat ironic how postcards, which were originally intended to provide recipients with a brief glimpse of another area of the world, are now being traded and collected as a means to look back in time.

This fascination with the past is what has driven the sale, distribution and collection of old postcards. This week, a trove of 2,000 New Zealand postcards offering a view of the country in the early twentieth century was sold at an auction for $28,750.

"The collection offered a wonderful insight into early New Zealand life with many of the postcards depicting early industry and the men and women who pioneered many of today’s existing industries," said Francis McWhannell, head of the auction house that sold the postcards.

Now that mobile apps and services offer postcard-like services, while email and social media make communication instantaneous, postcards are being used to invoke a sense of nostalgia among recipients.

However, they are also being used to recall the tactile appeal of physically receiving an object in which loved ones put in significant time and effort.

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