Vintage Christmas postcards from Burma

Previously I have referred to postcards of typical scenes from Burma being overprinted with a Christmas message, and how odd that seemed. I’ve since added more to the collection and would like to share them with you as my Christmas message for 2018.

But first, to my friends and relatives in Myanmar, courtesy of Google Translate:


To all my relatives and friends from around the world:

Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings.

The first postcards I acquired were all overprints from Raphael Tuck’s “Oilette” series of scenes from “Burmah”. The originals are quite common on eBay, but the ones overprinted in red with Christmas messages seem to be quite rare. These were printed from commissioned artworks, but since there is no signature we have no idea who painted them. They show pagodas and monasteries in Mandalay and a pagoda in Pagan (Bagan.) These postcards were published after 1907, as they have divided backs.

Christmas Tuck Oilette


Incomparable Pagoda Christmas Tuck Oilette

Shwegeena Pagoda, Pagan, A Happy Christmas, Tuck Oilette


Sepia postcards

Even earlier are the undivided back postcards in sepia tones, published by C. & M., Mandalay:

Burma Sends Thee Greetings C & M Mandalay


A Merry Christmas, C. M. Mandalay publisher

This one below is not attributed to anyone, but the framing is the same as the one above from C & M. Mandalay.

Burma Tribes Christmas

Finally, a postcard containing three views of the Gotheik Viaduct, a wondrous engineering feat built around 1900, which still exists today. I rode the train in February this year, as it gingerly made its way across the gorge. The train cars are newer but the bridge is original. Scenic, scary, and atmospheric.

Goteik Bridge 3 views

The back of this card has a printed message:

Goteik Bridge 3 views, (Xmas) back

Wishing you all, dear readers,  a peaceful and happy holiday season, and all the best for 2019.


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2 Responses to Vintage Christmas postcards from Burma

  1. Annette says:

    Fascinating…thank you for this treat. I look forwards to taking a ride on the Goteik bridge myself one day.

  2. R ichard Carlyon says:

    A very beautiful and most welcome look at the past. Thank you for your work and I promise I will be in touch early in the New Year. Many things to tell you, Sharman.
    All my love and best Christmas wishes x
    Richard Maxwell CARLYON

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