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28 January 2011

Raphael Tuck and Sons

As one walks through the beautiful grounds of Willesden Cemetery in London, it is easy to lose yourself thinking of the lives behind the headstones. It often seems  every corner turned leads to a new story. Such is the case with the monuments of Sir Adolph Tuck and his brother Herman Tuck. The brothers were 2 of the seven children of Raphael Tuck and his wife Ernestine Lissner of Kozmin, Poland.

The story of the Tuck family is so much more than these beautiful markers. Arriving in England in the mid 1860's Raphael soon began selling pictures and frames. He was joined in business by 3 sons in 1871, and Raphael Tuck & Sons, publishers was formed. Shortly thereafter they published their first Christmas card. Business was good and in 1893, they were granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria, becoming Publishers to Her Majesties the King and Queen. Soon they had offices in Paris and New York, as well as London.
Adolph Tuck, produced the picture postcard in 1894, a picture of Mt. Snowden in Wales. In addition, he was the first to sell a set of numbered postcards, they were printed in 1898 and the first was of The Tower of London. Over time the company printed and sold books, greeting cards, scrapbooks and puzzles. In fact Sir Adolph Tuck is widely credited with restarting the sending of Valentine Day cards, which he did in 1925.
We are fortunate  that many of the items published can be found in galleries and museums because like so many other businesses, the original records were destroyed in the bombing blitz of London during World War II.
The records of the Tuck family can be found in the Knowles Collection- Jews of the British Isles.

1 comment:

  1. does anyone know anything about a small paper back book called " Hush-a-by Baby by Raphael Tuck & sons London,Paris & New York Inside the front cover someone wrote November 1st 1895