Donald McGill’s Christmas Postcards

mcgill1If you’ve been paying
any attention at all
to the Muscleheaded Blog–

( and who could blame
you if you weren’t )

I know you’ve seen
this guy’s work before….

… even if you didn’t know
who he was, exactly.

His name is Donald McGill,

he was from England,donaldmcgill

and during his active working life as an artist,

between 1900 and 1960,

he was considered to be the:

“King of the Saucy Postcard”.

Saucy meaning humorous,

mcgillingredients—-  with a heapin’ helpin’
of double entendre .

If you like this blog,

you probably like his postcards, too.

His distinctive simply-drawn
style is relatively easy to spot,

.. and the earthy humor
is very approachable.

And, just like the MH Blog,

there were plenty of people,
over the years,

didn’t appreciate McGill’s
signature combination,

of simple, sarcastic and sexy, of course.

The Germans,

— during World War I, for instance,

didn’t exactly enjoy Donald McGill’s
snarky anti-Kaiser propaganda …

not one bit.

And despite his patriotic poster
and card war-work ,

… he never became what you would
call an insider in British society.

He once told a reporter that even
his children didn’t like to be seen
near a shop that sold his postcards.

Tsk tsk.

During the 30’s,mcgillmale

very vocal critics in English media
and politics weren’t all that fond
of his willingness to lampoon
anything and everything….

…. especially the strict social mores
and class structures of post-Edwardian England.

And after World War II,

— a consortium of Brit blue-noses
ganged up on a then 80-year-old McGill
and had him prosecuted for obscenity–

This, in turn, practically drove the
postcard industry in England out of business,

mcgillkiss— for a while, anyway.

The ‘saucy seaside postal card’
almost went the way of the dinosaurs.

But, he’s certainly also had his fans —

George Orwell wrote an essay on his work,

— and he has a large following of collectors,

both in the United States and Great Britain,

who specialize in finding his cards.

There is now even a museum featuring
his postcard designs on the Isle of Wight (in Ryde).

kiplingAnd despite the fact that much of his work
is so obviously created for a British audience,

… one of his ‘saucier’ post-card punch-lines
even made it to American television.

The Beverly Hillbillies, that is.


Ellie Mae’s boyfriend
(played by Louis Nye)
asked her if she liked Kipling.

To which she (Donna Douglas) replied:

I don’t rightly know, I’ve never kippled “.

mcgillshiftTake out the faux southern accent,

……… and that’s pure Donald McGill.


while I have featured several
of his postcards on the MH blog previously,

I have never done a post
about his cards created
for the Christmas/New Year Holidays….

And December does seem
as good a time as any, right ?

It actually it’s too logical for this blog,

— but we’ll go with it anyway.mcgilltrousers

I find his Holiday work particularly enjoyable….

It’s a nice change from the usual themes–

of snow covered lanes,
and the more sentimental/religious images,

that we usually see on Christmas cards.

As far as I’m concerned,

it’s not a real holiday without a little fun,

pollyholly…… and I always prefer the naughtier kind.

( In just about everything,
….. now that I think about it. )


I’m only human.

McGill was thought to have designed
over 12,000 different cards in his long career,

— but the Holiday pieces
he drew number under 50.


not only are they fun,

— but they’re pretty unique, too.

I hope you enjoy them….

You never know….

….  maybe you’ll become a Donald McGill fan, too.

HOY !!!



6 thoughts on “Donald McGill’s Christmas Postcards

  1. mislucja says:

    Love Polly in the Holly! 🙂

  2. I love saucy, so I love McGill! 🙂
    His Christmas cards are THE best! 😀
    And it’s cool the history you share with us!
    FaLaLaLaLa HUGS!!! 😛

  3. julespaige says:

    You know humor is a grand thing. And sometimes we learn from it too.
    While conversing about having a good old fashioned ‘snipe hunt’ (really anytime of the year will do) – I became curious to find out that a ‘snipe’ is a real birdie. And wondered about another ‘wordie’ which gets explained here (thanks to Wiki):

    “A snipe hunt or fool’s errand is a type of practical joke or prank that involves experienced people making fun of credulous newcomers by giving them an impossible or imaginary task. The snipe hunt may be assigned to a target as part of a process of hazing, but the word “sniper” is derived from a marksman with enough skill to shoot one.”

    Cheers, Jules

Leave a Comment -- I'd Love to Hear From You !

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s