Atwood’s Artist Artifacts 4: Hartung’s 1940s Vacationing Cats

While sorting through the family historical items that have been entrusted to me, I have come across many interesting items.

Yesterday it was a small pile of postcards. Its summer, time for vacations, and back in the day  you purchased postcards in the city or places you visited. I wonder where these were bought?  They have never been mailed, so one of my relatives must have taken great care in selecting and saving them to enjoy over and over.

The Artifact: Cat Postcards

Number 4935








There are a total of three saved, depicting common activities for people, but the people are cats! And if you have been playing along, you know I love whimsy. These have that whimsy factor and the other part I like-oddness.How can you not like them? The longer you stare at them, the more nutty details you see!

Now that I have discovered them, I needed to learn more about them. That turned out to be easier than I thought. A quick internet search clued me into the artist who was born in Switzerland and was named Eugan Hartung (1897-1973).

Number 4943






His cat and other animal postcards were popular in the 1940s and published by the Alfred Mainzer company.  








He must have been very prolific at painting these anthropomorphic scenes because that search turned up many different scenes. Interestingly, each postcard is numbered which is great for collectors, and instead of a signature, he made a little monogram. How unique and cool is that? The quality postcards will have it included and not cut off.

Close up of Eugan Hartung’s artist mark.








What I REALLY like about them, are the scenes of mayhem. I raised four sons and our home was full of action, noise, mess, and fooling around. I loved every minute of it.

Number 4894







That is probably why I also adore the whole Royal Doulton “Bunnykins” series of children’s china.  I bought a set for each of my son’s when they were born and they are now a fun addition to our Easter dinner table.


The interesting fact about those wild and crazy bunnies is who originally drew them. It was an amateur artist who happened to be a nun, Sister Mary Barbara Baily. She designed their mayhem scenes from the 1930s to the 1950s.






Normal scenes of everyday turned into busy crazy fun by switching out people with animals–it never gets old!

Hope you are having some fun this summer!


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