Lost & Found

A very vintage Christmas from Madrid’s traditional shopkeepers

24 December 2017
Merry Christmas from the waiter

Merry Christmas from Madrid’s traditional shopkeepers! Here are 24 beautiful vintage Christmas cards celebrating Spain’s traditional occupations.

Some of these jobs no longer exist: the lamplighter and the coalman are now enjoying electricity, but others such as the barman and the postman are still going strong, as is – surprisingly – the shoeshiner.

Look closer, though: there are some fascinating symbols on these cards that give us an insight into the bygone era of these time-honoured professions. And can you spot the block of turrón in almost every card? Keep an eye out too for a few surprising objects, such as tropical fruits and a blimp…

Apart from the usual manger, cava and bar of turrón, this vintage Christmas card from around 1950 includes a Japanese ship, a propeller plane, a huge factory and a pineapple…

Merry Christmas from the waiter

Merry Christmas from the waiter

I love this fabulous art nouveau Christmas card with the triumphant innkeeper strutting down the street to the rescue of many a thirsty punter…

Merry Christmas from the inn keeper

Merry Christmas from the inn keeper

A stylishly cut card from a stylishly dressed lady…

Merry Christmas from the fashion designer

Merry Christmas from the fashion designer

Can you spot the three forms of postal transport? The Polar Express and the cargo ship may once have made it up to lapland, but I don’t think the little Wright brothers’ plane could have carried many letters…

Merry Christmas from the postman

Merry Christmas from the postman

…but the blimp and the vintage car, on the other hand…

Merry Christmas from the postman 2

Merry Christmas from the postman 2

Merry Christmas from the night watchman

Merry Christmas from the nightwatchman

A festive time of year to enjoy turrón, turkey, red wine and… watermelon?

Merry Christmas from the painter and decorator

Merry Christmas from the painter and decorator

Merry Christmas from the plumber

Merry Christmas from the plumber

Merry Christmas from the fashion designer

Merry Christmas from the fashion designer 2

You can still find shoeshiners on Gran Vía…

Merry Christmas from the shoe shiner

Merry Christmas from the shoeshiner

Merry Christmas from the lamp lighter

Merry Christmas from the lamplighter

Merry Christmas from the pastry chef

Merry Christmas from the pastry chef

…and don’t forget all those festive pineapples…

Merry Christmas from the locksmith

Merry Christmas from the locksmith

Merry Christmas from the electrician

Merry Christmas from the electrician

Merry Christmas from the drug storekeeper

Merry Christmas from the pharmacist

Merry Christmas from the gardener

Merry Christmas from the gardener

Merry Christmas from the barber

Merry Christmas from the barber

Merry Christmas from the baker

Merry Christmas from the baker

It’s always great to see a palm tree in a Christmas card…

Merry Christmas from the bellboy

Merry Christmas from the bellboy

Merry Christmas from the locksmith

Merry Christmas from the locksmith

Merry Christmas from the milkman

Merry Christmas from the milkman

Merry Christmas from the blacksmith

Merry Christmas from the blacksmith

Impressive balancing skills and fashion from the coal boy…

Merry Christmas from the coal merchant

Merry Christmas from the coal merchant

Merry Christmas from the plumber

Merry Christmas from the plumber

…and Merry Christmas from Madrid No Frills!

All photos © National Library of Spain.

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