World’s largest postcard collection include Bromley, Beckenham and Orpington

Derek Popplestone with his postcards

Derek Popplestone with his postcards


A dealer has acquired the largest single collection of postcards in the world.

Derek Popplestone, who began buying and selling cards 25 years ago, received the 15,000 assortment last week after being bequeathed them by an old friend and customer.

They show views from all over Bromley as well as some of historic events ranging in date from 1900 to around 1960.

Mr Popplestone has customers all over the world including China, Brazil, Peru and Hong Kong and will be splitting the collection before selling the cards individually at the Picture Postcard Show at Westminster’s Royal Horticultural Halls on September 1.

He said: “It is what the gentleman who left them to me would have wanted. Everyone will get a fair chance to see the collection.

“The image is what makes a postcard valuable. The age has some bearing. It doesn’t matter if it’s been used or if it has a message on it.

“Views of railway stations in Edwardian times are very popular all over the world. People also like old post offices.”

Mr Popplestone reckons the postcard likely to fetch the most amount of money is one of Bromley Fire Station in Edwardian times. He thinks it could sell for around £100 whereas others may cost as little as 20p.

He started collecting stamps about 25 years ago but then moved onto postcards. He added: “I just got hooked on the things. I love looking at the old cars and buses. The quality of some of the photographs is just superb.”

Postcard collection is known as Deltiology. The most expensive postcard ever sold is reported to have been bought by Latvian collector Eugene Gomberg in 2002. It featured a caricature of an 1840 post office and was purchased for £31,758.

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