AN AUCTION house are auctioning their largest ever private collection of Cumbrian postcards in over three centuries.

1818 Auctioneers in Milnthorpe launched an online auction of over 9,500 postcards of Cumbria on February 8.

The collection, a lifetime of work from its owner, features many of Edward Sankey’s postcards.

Mr Sankey was a famous twentieth century photographer from Barrow who was a keen businessman during the Edwardian and Georgian era.

He gained a patent for his specially designed printing machine in 1923 which revolutionised the mass production of postcards.

The Sankey’s ‘Tour of Lakeland’ series also helped to bring tourists and visitors to the region.

1818 Auctioneers believe Sankey’s postcards started circulating around 1902.

Assistant manager Simon Thompson said: “Over the past few years there has been a major project to catalogue Sankey’s work which is now stored in the Cumbria Archives.

“This auction will be popular for both the local community and collectors worldwide. It’s the largest private of collection of Cumbrian postcards we have ever seen at 1818 Auctioneers.”

The postcards being auctioned are organised into specific towns, areas and manufacturers of postcards.

Specialist stamp and postcard valuer Andy Bowden, said: “This is a fascinating collection representing a comprehensive visual history of Cumbria.

“Postcards are more than just images. They serve as snapshots of a bygone era, capturing the essence of a time and place. This extensive collection provides a valuable snippet of social history and life in Cumbria from the early 1900’s onwards.

“Local history enthusiasts, collectors and researchers are particularly likely to be interested in the Sankey postcards. These are one of the most sought after by collectors.”

The collectable stamps, cigarette cards and postcard online auction concludes on February 25.

Find out more about viewing dates and to register a bid, click here.