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19 May 2011

A Pretty Vintage Find...

So, here's a personal thing about me - lately, I've enjoyed visiting antique stores and other places that sell vintage jewelry and clothes. I've always been a contemporary person as it came to style, etc., but something about the 1970s and before is just calling me. I'm waiting a few more weeks before buying the clothes since I've been working out, but I've been falling all over myself with picking up jewelry and postcards.

Last weekend at Sugarfoot Antiques & Shabby Chic in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, I came across this find! A postcard with the most intriguing picture and then...check out the note on the back! (Click on the photos to get a better close up).

With the caption of "The Morning After," it's no surprise the picture is of a gentleman the day after having one too many. I hope he had a fun evening, at least!

But the even more curious part is the message on the back. It's written to a young woman in 1908, and it reads:

Dear Mab:
We are very much shocked to hear of the dissapations in which you have been indulging. Hope that as you are young you will outgrow.
Sincerely Yours,
R.H. & A. W.

I think dissapations may have been misspelled and it should have been "dissipations" which would mean wastefulness. I can only assume, based on the picture, and the message to the recipient hopefully outgrowing these youthful actions, meant that Mabel was perhaps participating in too many parties that were deemed a waste of her time?

Nowadays, a young woman having a couple of drinks and partying even a few nights a week doesn't seem to be a big deal. But in 1908? This would have been something delectably scandalous and I can't imagine what might have been worse: Being the subject of rumors and gossip, or getting a postcard in the mail for all to see that even your own family or friends from far away have heard about it!

And because I'm an fan and have a membership there, I found that Mabel probably would have been approximately seventeen-years-old, and I then ended up tracking down a member whose cousin was the grand-niece of Mabel Zieske's husband! How cool is that? They now have the pictures of the postcard that I emailed over to them. Isn't it incredible that 103 years later, a simple postcard ended up in Florida from Minnesota, and the purchaser of the card (me) was able to connect with a relative of the postcard's recipient? Not to mention, I want to know more about Mabel!

I dig it.

So how about you? Have you had any vintage mysteries that you can share?

Happy Finding,
Coffee and a Book Chick


  1. That is SO COOL! I love that you did the extra research and found out those details. I did the same sort of thing (via to find info about my grandfather's best friend. The two of them landed on Utah Beach on D-Day and his friend was killed 3 days later. Through my research I was able to find the friend's siblings and share grandpa's memories with them. It was amazing. I wrote about it on my blog a few times ... if you're interested you can check out the posts:

  2. You need to write a book about Mabel! I find it kind of funny that they would choose a postcard to write something like that.

  3. That's totally awesome! :D

    I've sometimes seen inscriptions in books and wondered what the situation was between them and what happened.

  4. What a great find! I love it :-)

  5. I love that you tracked down Mab's relatives through this very cool find!

  6. Vintage and antique stores really are wonderful! It's great finds like this postcard that make all the searching/browsing worthwhile. After seeing this, you've inspired me to do some more looking myself. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Makes me wonder if these types of interesting finds will be lost for future generations now that so much of what we do is recorded digitally. And then again, maybe everything will exist forever on a giant server somewhere.

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  9. Oh my gosh, this is just the coolest thing, and it's so neat that you were able to make contact with the family! I really need to start frequenting these kinds of stores and see what kinds of treasures I can find for myself! Fantastic post, Natalie!

  10. That is sooo cool that you were able to find a recipient to pass the card along to. Fantastic!

  11. That is cool, and you are cool to do it. I can't even imagine how blown away these family members were Natalie. And I would agree with Kathy. This is exactly the type of thing that would inspire a writer. You have your muse!

  12. Facinating! I love antiquing and am always intrigued by my finds! You've inspired me to find out more about an old photo I have. It's of my husband's grandmother in the late 1910s or early 1920s standing next a plane with a woman pilot named Faye. There are several other photos of grandmother with Faye - at the beach, wrapped in big floral shawls - but no one in my husband's family knows anything about this "Faye"!

  13. What a fun post. If you like Florida antiquing, plan a day in Micanopy, south of Gainesville. It's an antiquer's paradise!

  14. That is so neat! I absolutely love going antiquing. There's a huge antique mall down the street from me and it's so hard to resist going there all the time. I've never found anything as cool as your postcard though. And how awesome that you were able to find the family!

  15. Mr. Whimsy and I ADORE vintage shops. Thanks for sharing your find.

  16. I wish that I really enjoyed checking out antiques - we have a million antique stores around us. That is pretty cool that you were able to reach out to the family. A co-worker of mine was able to find some great stuff for me about my family through (I gave it to my parents for their anniversary).

  17. Wow that's such a cool find and story! Poor Mabel, all those judgy family members and she just wanted to party like it was 1909 :-P

  18. That's a great find! I wonder how "bad" Mabel was for getting this reputation.

    I did a lot of family tree research and have come across one or two diaries and letters, but nothing such fun as that postcard!

  19. no, vintage mysteries for me. I did find a nude photo in a used book I bought from the library. In a Heyer book no less!

    Very cool story though.
    Keep up the good work at the gym. I hate when I miss the gym myself. Like the new look of the blog and hope you are enjoying "Never Let Me Go". I finished it a while back and have yet to write my review. One of my favorites of 2011 for sure. Enjoy Game of Thrones too.

  20. Well, you must keep us posted if there is anymore on the Mabel front. What a great story. What an awesome find.

  21. I love antique stores and stores that sell old bric-a-brac! I spend hours trawling them. You never know what you are going to find. I love this postcard :) and love it that you researched it further! Fantastic.


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