Burma Postcards

The Sharman Minus collection of early postcards of Burma, or Myanmar

These images may not be used without prior permission of the owner.

On this page are some of my vintage postcards of Burma, mostly from 1900-1939. The publishers often took black and white photos already published, and added colour by the chromo-lithography method before printing. I will be adding more as I collect them so come back often! Included is the name of the publisher and/or the photographer, plus any serial number, after the title. Click on each image for a larger view. Some of the publishers’ and photographers’ names are:

American Baptist Mission Press (ABM press) and other missionary groups

D.A. Ahuja, a commercial photographer in Rangoon:

He started as Kundundass & Co. in 1885 and in 1900 changed the name to his own, D. A. Ahuja. He bought rights to other photographers’ photos, such as Beato and Klier, and had them chromo lithographed and printed in Germany. The quality was the best you could get at the time, and his images outshone other companies from France, Japan, Germany and England. In 1916 he bought out Watts & Skeen. His photography studio was still running as well; at the bottom of People and their Pursuits see a photo (and the reverse) of my great-grandmother and her family taken in 1906 at his studio at 47 Sule Pagoda Rd., Rangoon. The little girl on the right is my grandmother at the age of five, Lily Howard.

Raphael Tuck and Sons, printers with a Royal Warrant:

Their postcards, printed in England, were often paintings done on commission. The artists aren’t always named, but the words “Oilette” and their initials can be seen at the lower left of the card. Edith Pinhey is one artist who signed her full name. Another artist who did beautiful paintings of Burma was R. Talbot Kelly.  Tuck also did black and white cards for Whiteway and Laidlaw, the famous department store in Rangoon.

Philip Klier and Felice Beato, two very early photographers of Burma:

Many of these early sepia photographs were later issued by Ahuja in tinted form.

Sir Joseph Causton & Sons, Ltd, London:

All the coloured cards I’ve seen so far are paintings by F. M. Muriel.

Watts & Skeen: 

In and out of the business, they eventually sold out to Ahuja.

Whiteaway, Laidlaw & Co., an important department store in Rangoon


Auction sniping: eBay sniper


Buildings and Scenes in Rangoon 

Many of these buildings still exist in a dilapidated state. The Yangon Heritage Trust is working hard to change the perception that they must be torn down in favour of shoddily built skyscrapers.

Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Rangoon

These four postcards were from the original paintings at the Strand Hotel, by U Ba Kyi, a famous Burmese artist. If you have flown into Mingaladon airport, you will have seen his huge wall murals.


The buildings in Mandalay Palace impressed many travellers throughout the 19th century until the mid 20th century. Sadly, all were destroyed during WWII, except part of the watchtower, some of the walls and the four mile long moat that surrounded the Royal city.

Other Places in Burma

People and their Pursuits

12 Responses to Burma Postcards

  1. Pingback: Postcards from colonial Burma – Fifty Viss

Leave a Reply