Picture overflowing the Frame


While "F S" was not the only person to be using cards where the picture deliberately overflows the frame he definitely used it for six sets of cards published in England in 1906/7. Examples are brought together here so that a comparison can be made with two additional unsigned sets published in the USA by a company, A Q Southwick,  which was already reprinting known "F S" cards.

Sailor Jack




When there is a woman

These cards come from sets signed "F S" and published in England in the second half of 1906. Like many other "F S" sets they appear with different "publisher" names on.

Who said Liar?


Mistakes will occur [Unsigned]


Take a friend's advice

Shortly after the London View Company Ltd closed in August 1907 four sets of cards, three signed "F S", were published in England and in the United States by A Q Southwick, of New York. Three of those sets included cards with the picture overflowing the frame, although in one case  by a very small amount.


Dear Hubby  (N19)  [Unsigned]

Dear Wifey   (N20)   [Unsigned]

While there is no claim that this picture format was invented by "F S" a ebay scan was made of some 1800 comic cards posted in  the UK in the 1906-8 period. Nine cards which used an overflowing box were noted - but all but one, illustrated here and posted in 1908, was from one of the above sets by "F S."

Early in 1908 A Q Southwick published a pair of sets, Dear Hubby and Dear Wifey. These are unsigned - and as the company had just published four sets by "F S" it is obvious that "F S" could be considered to be a possible artist.

On general style grounds, coupled with the use of the picture overflowing the frame technique, I consider it is probable that "F S" (i.e. Fred Spurgin) was the artist.


Fred Spurgin later used the technique sparingly in the cards he produced for the  International Art Company






Other Artists/Publishers

 Four in hand

National Series, Millar & Lang, 1903



National Series, Millar & Lang


Au Resvoir

National Series,

Millar & Lang,


A few of the very earliest Millar & Lang postcards (undivided backs or divided but with no logo) used this approach in 1903. They are unsigned and the technique seems not to have been reused in later years.