Percy Bradshaw Postcard Artist

There’s a popular phrase. “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach”. It certainly didn’t apply to writer, illustrator, and art teacher Percy Bradshaw. He was both an accomplished artist and a very successful teacher. His work can today be found in his instruction books (e.g. “I Wish I Could Draw,” and “I Wish I could Paint”) and on collectable postcards.

Percy Bradshaw Comic Artist Postcard

P V Bradshaw (the V stands for Venner, his mothers’ maiden name) was born in Hackney in 1877. By the age of 14 he was out of school, working by the day as a clerk for an advertising company while attending art classes in the evening. Within a year he had sold his first illustration to the Boy’s Own Paper and was moved into his employers’ art department. At the age of 18 Bradshaw left the advertising agency to set up on his own as a freelance artist. Over the next few years his work appeared in many of the popular magazines and journals of the era (Tatler, The Sketch, Boy’s Own paper, The Bystander, and others) and on postcards. He produced postcards for Raphael Tuck, for Misch and (it is said) others, usually signing his work with the initials PVB or as P. V. Bradshaw.


PVB Percy Vernon Bradshaw Postcard

The most notable and collectable of his postcards were those published by Raphael Tuck, for whom he illustrated more than twenty postcards sets. All sets had a comic and social observation theme, some sporting, some political, some business related, some just fun.

Percy Bradshaw Artist Postcard
P V Bradshaw – Raphael Tuck Postcard Checklist
Series 1001 - Market reports Illustrated
Series 1002 - Tennis Illustrated
Series 1178 – Racing Illustrated
Series 1179 – Stock Exchange Notes
Series 1279 – Parliamentary Notes
Series 1288 – Billiard Terms Illustrated
Series 1289 – Market Reports Illustrated II
Series 1307 – Yachting Terms Illustrated
Series 1308 – Business Notes Illustrated
Series 1324 – Cricket Illustrated
Series 1365 – Football Terms Illustrated
Series 1366 – Weather Reports Illustrated
Series 1367 – Weather Reports Illustrated II
Series 1624 – The Five Senses
Series 1767 – Newspaper Headings
Series 1768 – The Cockney Yachtsman (as attached to this article)
Series 6142 – Fiscal Football
Series 6400 – A Telephone Tragedy
Series 9097 – Popular Fiction Illustrated
Series 9248 – The General Election
Series 9455 – Things We Meet

Bradshaw founded his Press Art School and its correspondence courses in 1905. He was destined to remain as principal for the next 50 years and the school was a tremendous success. Many celebrated cartoonists and illustrators were to be pupils or would work as tutors ( e.g. Lawson Wood) or as consultants. By the time of WW1 the school was supporting several thousand students each year and this rate of success continued for many years.

In common with many of his postcard illustrator predecessors and contemporaries (Tom Browne, John Hassall, Lance Thackeray, Phil May, and others) Percy V Bradshaw was a member of the London Sketch Club.

Percy V Bradshaw died in 13 October 1965, and the grand age of eighty-seven years.

Percy  Bradshaw Comic Postcard
For another Bradshaw example with a political and sport theme look at the Fiscal Football postcard on this page 
From About Postcards.  

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