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  H. Gutmann for whom Earnest was working.

According to Wikipedia, Herbert Gutmann was the son of the Dresdner Bank Chairman Eugen Gutmann and studied economics, then also worked at the Dresdner Bank . He was a co-founder, director and later president of the German Orient Bank and played a role in the economic activities of the German empire in the Orient in the period before the First World War . As part of this business longer trips led him in the years 1905-1910 under others to Morocco , Egypt , Syria , Asia Minor and Persia . In 1910 he was elected to the board of Dresdner Bank.

The address, 26 rue Sherif Pasha should have been Cherif Pacha and may have looked like this in 1903

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