Post Card Artist

Fred Gothard - "Spatz"

For comparison with Karaktus

Cross-ref Publishers Thomas Hind, E. Mack, J. Salmon

 

Fred Gothard (1882-1971) was born in Holmfirth, Yorkshire, and became a bank clerk in nearby Huddersfield,. He later moved to Cheshire, ending up as a bank manager in Manchester. He started producing office doodle style postcards in 1908 (earliest known date July 1908) which were signed "Spatz", although a few also include the signature "F G". These carried numbers starting at 5000 and were published by Thomas Hind, who kept a bookshop and stationers at 31 John William Street, Huddersfield between about 1899 and 1909. The Spatz cards were published in the "Spatz post card " series or the "Regent" series and most uses a crown as logo. Thomas Hind also published a large number of local view cards, and none I have seen on ebay had a distinctive logo, series name or number.

No 5022

All is not beer that's bitter

O! I have passed a miserable night, so full of ugly sights and ghostly dreams (Shakespeare)

"SPATZ" POST CARDS. From original Drawings & Sketches by Spatz.

Published by Thomas Hind. Huddersfield. No  5022

posted 21 & 22 August 1908

Signed Spatz

 

No 5028

O winds that blow from the mouth breathe on my glistening beer

My Word if you're not off.

No 5023

Posted 19 Sep 1908

Signed Spatz & FG

I may look "quiet" but I'm making an awful reacket.

No 5040

 

 

 

"SPATZ" POST CARDS. From original Drawings & Sketches by Spatz.

Published by Thomas Hind. Huddersfield.

No  5057

How'd you like to spoon with me?

The "Regent "Series, From original Drawings & Sketches by Spatz

Published by Thomas Hind, Huddersfield. No 5024

Signed F G

'Tis beauty that doth oft make woman proud

(Shakespeare)

What rot!! Fancy me proud.

 

No 5000

SPATZ POST CARDS. From original Drawing by Spatz.

Published by Thomas Hind, Huddersfield. Copyright

Signed SPATZ

Posted 1913

When we fly

Exceeding the Speed Limit

 

No 6043

 

 

The Mack family started in Bristol but in about 1908 they moved to King Henry's Road, Primrose Hill, London, and it would seem that many of their cards were printed by J. Salmon. During the First World War "F G" produced many card, mainly with "E. Mack" as publisher but printed by J. Salmon. He also did some cards for Tuck & Sons.

 

Physical Jerks

The Jerker - "What will you give me if I straighten that back within a week

The Rookie - " A bottle of hair restorer"

 

The Inquisitive One - "Have you been wounded Sir?"

The Other One - "No mi lady I was cleaning the canary's cage out  an' the little beggar flew at me,"

 

"You'll have had some narrow escapes from death"

"Rather! - I once fell out of a pram when I was a kid"

Copyright. W E. Mack, King Henry's Road, Hamstead, N W 3

 

Copyright Printed and Published by J. Salmon, Sevenoaks, England -

E. Mack, King Henry's Rd, Hamstead, London

 

Copyright E. Mack, King Henry's Rd, Hamstead, London

Original Sketch by "F G"

No Publisher

 

First World War Postcards by

"F G"

Copyright. E. Mack, King Henry's Road, Hamstead, London

 

Copyright Printed and Published by J. Salmon, Sevenoaks, England

Copyright. E. Mack, King Henry's Road, Hamstead, London

Posted 9 June 1919

 

Copyright. E. Mack, King Henry's Road, Hamstead, London

 

 

Copyright. E. Mack, King Henry's Road, Hamstead, London

Posted 19 March 1918

 

The Devil sends the wind to blow

The Pretty Girls' skirts high

But Heaven is Just

And send the dust

To blind the bad man's eye

by "F G"

J Salmon posted 1922

Assessment

 

"Karaktus" was producing comic cards with a crown logo in St Albans by October 1908, while "Spatz" was producing comic cards with a crown logo by July 1908. As long as there is any uncertainty as to the identity of "Karaktus" it was worth comparing the two.

 

This preliminary examination has found many points which suggest that we have two completely independent artists:

  1. General Style: The simplicity of the Spatz cards look very much like the office doodle of a good amateur, while the "simplicity" of the Karactus cards look far more deliberate.

  2. Human Figures. Those by Spatz are correctly proportioned while in most of the Karactus cards the striking effect arises because the size of the head is disproportionately large - but is drawn in a way that does not make the image grotesque.

  3. Hair Colour: The Spatz cards I have seen mostly show people with ginger hair - and written accounts suggest this was a common feature. There is nothing to match this in the Karaktus cards.

  4. Humour style: Very different - and the whole approach to using text is different.

  5. The use of a crown as a logo is not uncommon - and the two crowns are different

  6. There are no obvious common points (apart from the use of a crown), such as a common publisher.

I therefore conclude that there is no reason to think Spatz and Karaktus are the same person.

 

Sources:

Pack up your Troubles: How humorous postcards helped to win World War I. by James Taylor

Picture Postcards and their Publishers by Anthony Byatt

Ancestry

Ebay