Charles Thomas Howard

1865 - 1942

If you enjoy collecting postcards of a variety of subjects you can do no better than collect those painted by Charles Thomas Howard, or CTH as he is known in the postcard world.   He was born at Boston in Lincolnshire on 8th April 1865, the second son of George and Eliza Howard.   On 6th September 1905 he married Catherine Eleanor Gilbert at Peterborough.   They had two children, Eleanor Joyce Vernon born in September 1908 and Jeffery Charles Vernon in August 1913 in Ealing.   They lived at various addresses in the London area.   He died at the age of 76 on 16th February 1942 at Rogate, West Sussex, near Petersfield in Hampshire.

I do not know when he started working for Salmon of Sevenoaks and for how long but he certainly painted a number of patriotic cards during World War I.   He was a prolific artist and also worked for at least two other publishers but only with small numbers of cards.   Many of his cards have been reprinted a number of times with different words to make them saleable to a wider variety of customers.

Salmon published two long series of Watercolour postcards and Fancy postcards.   The Watercolour series were views in the United Kingdom and some overseas countries.   Some were printed to look as though they were oil paintings which was attractive but one wonders why they did it for some of the watercolour artists whose work was never intended to look like an oil painting!    The Fancy series included every imaginable type of postcard - Animals in zoos, in the wild, Pets, Shipping, Aviation, Railways, Comic, Military, etc.   These were often reprinted using a white margin, printing the title with foreign translations, printing the words at the top or bottom of the postcard, etc.   This series represents the work of a large number of artists.   CTH painted for both these series.

No.2382 - The
Town Steps,
No.3841 - Point of Ayre
Lighthouse, I.o.M.
No.3378 - The Mere and
Boathouse, Thorpeness
No.4182 - The Sentry
at the Gate,
Windsor Castle

These four postcards are some of CTH's work in the Watercolour series.   The fourth one can be found as a pullout with scenes of Windsor Castle.   There are also a number of Channel Islands cards which are easily available in dealers' stocks and therefore inexpensive.


These are some of the Patriotic postcards in the Fancy series which were produced in WWI to suit as many buyers as possible.   For instance, I have 10 copies of the first one, all with different names of Regiments or Units and different places.   In fact, our soldiers were on guard just about everywhere in the U.K!   I wonder how many more I shall be able to find?   Prices vary tremendously, particularly at an auction, depending often on who wants a card for their family tree, with no regard for its catalogue value, if a relative had served in that particular regiment.   I have seven different wordings for the second card.   Three of them mention Regiments with the words "are holding their own".   Flags are always popular on patriotic cards and the third one has a version with the words "Wha' daur meddle wi' me?"   Next is a simple patriotic card with no variants as far as I know.   Lastly an attractive nurse.   You may begin to notice similarities in CTH's work in the faces of soldiers, ladies and children!

No.4106 - Imperial Airways
Flying Boat "Scipio"
No.3505 - Preparing to Land
at Croydon Aerodrome
No.4128 - An Auto-Giro
at Cowes Regatta

Three examples of CTH's Aviation paintings.   Some of the descriptions on the backs of the cards remind us how far aviation has advanced in the intervening years.   He also painted military aviation of the bi-plane era.


Did CTH travel to foreign places? I guess not because package tours had not come into being and artists were not particularly well paid.   So he would have had to paint copying a photograph.   The first card has no title on the front or reverse so we have no real idea where it is - maybe Egypt or any other north african country.   If you recognise the mountain range please let me know!   The second card West Street, Nassau, Bahamas, is from a series Salmon printed for the publishers City Pharmacy to be sold in the Bahamas.   Other cards in the series may or may not be CTH's work as only the one shown here has a signature.   The third card was originally for the British market and had the title Sea Horses.   At a later stage it was thought to be suitable for the French and Dutch markets and the words Monstres Marines and Ze monsterdieren were added.


These three cards and the following eight give an idea of the wide variety of subjects CTH covered with his artwork.   Kittens, Dogs, Rabbits and Chicks; the third one was an easy candidate to have Easter Greetings overprinted at a later date.



Now you can see Comic, Birds, Horses, Children, Dogs and Zoos.   CTH did not paint postcards of flowers for Salmon although flowers were often included in a view, in borders, among verses, etc.   However he painted a short series of trees which is fairly common.   The Zoo card is at London Zoo.   Most of them are fairly easy to find.   But one that eludes me is No.3737 The Chimps Tea Party, so if anyone has a spare copy please let me know!   Several cards similar to the Fox-hunting one were all printed with Christmas messages and the Royalty card shows the Coronation of King George V.

No2734 - Canada from the Lake,
British Empire Exhitition
No no. - The Indian Pavilion,
British Empire Exibition
No. no. - Roses, Grapes, Nut,
Plum and Nectarine

These last three cards are by CTH for three different publishers.   The first one was for Salmon of Sevenoaks in their Watercolour series.   Then he painted the second card for The Photochrom Co, for their Celesque series.   He also painted a number of views of Devon for them too.   The third card was for the "R.S." Art Press Ltd.   So far I have only the one and I don't know how many I am looking for!

If you enjoy collecting postcards perhaps you will add some of the above to your collections too!

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January 2007