Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today


My maternal grandmother’s brother, which I believe makes him my Great Uncle, Earnest Deegan, was a well traveled man. During the early part of the last century he was what was then known as a “Gentleman’s Gentleman” – a butler or valet. This profession took him to places far and wide, exotic and remote. His brother Matthew Deegan was a skilled artist and draughtsman. The two brothers kept in contact by mail (email and texting were still about a century off). Matthew was fond of using his skills when addressing envelopes. Below are several examples.

EnvelopeCairo

This one was delivered in Cairo c/o photographer H. Guttmann (misspelled on the envelope) for whom Earnest was working.

NYCarSnow

This one was sent to him when he was working in New York.

Milwaukee

While in Milwaukee, Wisconsin working for Captain Irving Bean, of Civil War fame. The house on Prospect Avenue is now an historical site.

Paris

In Paris c/o W. Slater at Morgan and Harjes bank.

SandStockholm

This letter sent to Stockholm has the address written in the sand, and upside down. Yet it was delivered, I can’t imagine modern postal services taking the time to work that out!

Kilt

Finally a sketch of a man in kilt lugging soemone’s belongings up a steep crag in Aberdeen-shire.

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5 thoughts on “Hand-drawn envelopes; works of art that probably wouldn’t be delivered today

  1. What a wonderful family treasure! They are very creative and show a sly sense of humor – hope you tagged them so that the mail art fans will find them! Perhaps you will re-post the pictures individually along with the story – it is a really great post!
    Elephant

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