"Eustace Watkins"

"Watkins & Kracke Ltd"

51-52  Beech Street, London E.C.


Eustace Watkins began to publish post  cards in the Burlesque series in January 1908, from 51-52 Beech Street, London, EC., and it is likely that he previously worked alongside Horace Mitchell as the partnership Mitchell & Watkins split up in April 1908. By 1909 Eustace had joined up with Max Krake to publish cards under the name "Watkins and Kracke Ltd." However it appear that this partnership broke up in 1910.


Frederick Spurgin was the artist responsible for the unsigned The Infantastic Series and The Satire Series by "Dauber" and the unsigned Valentine Series.


See also The Watkins Family of Post Card Publishers

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include common back

The Burlesque Series

Jock: Don't look down or you will fall,

Lady: Where shall I look then?


The first cards in this long series were registered for copyright by Eustace Watkins in January 1908. Initially no publisher was given, then "Eustace Watkins" followed by "Watkins & Krate." The last cards only recorded the address in Beech Road.



Oh Jack you are a handy man


View Cards of S.E. England

 Eustace Watkins, London E.C.

Inland Postage back

These cards have the same back and in other ways are similar to many South Coast view post cards produced by the London View Company. The earliest recorded posted April 1908.

The Floral Hall, Brighton

No 3

Posted 1908


The Palace Pier and Aquarium, Brighton, No 19.

Posted 12 June 1908


Hove Promenade and Lawns, Brighton  No 22

Posted 11 September, 1908

General View of Hastings

No 1


Hollington Church Hastings

The Church in the Woods  No 6


The Lovers Seat, Hastings

No 13

Ecclesbourne Cliffs, Hastings   No 16

Posted 16 September 1908


The Caves, Hastings   No 20

Posted 15 September 1908


The Refectory, Battle Abbey


All Saints St., showing the old houses

No 7 [Hastings]

Eustace Watkins. London E.C.


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These two cards are taken from a slightly different viewpoint but same girl, identically dressed, appears in the same place in both pictures. The backs are identical apart from the publisher's name. This suggests Eustace Watkins and the London View Co. Ltd. used the same photographer and printer - and may have been more closely connected.

For more examples see Hastings


All Saints Street, Hastings  

No 5

London View Co. Ltd.

Other View Cards


The Canal, Hythe

Eustace Watkins, London E.C.


The Satire Series by Dauber

I wish they'd do it now!

There is more in this than meets the eye!


"Dauber" was a pseudonym used by Frederick Spurgin

Earliest posted copies June 1909

The Satire Series Copyright Printed in England

Published at 51 and 52 Beech Street, London


A Sadder and a wiser man,

He rose the morrow morn.

The Ancient Mariner

I can always lay my hand on a few hundred pounds.


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The card on the left, by "Dauber" is a painted version of the card on the right published by the Crown Publishing Co of St Albans, where cards in the "Crown Series" are by "F. S."

But the key link below support the idea that "Dauber" was Frederick Spurgin - so Frederick Spurgin was definitely involved with the short-lived St Albans company.


His right hand doesn't know what his left hand is doing

The Infantastic Series [by Fred Spurgin]

Go Away Mousie Do!

Posted 8 November 1909


The Infantastic Series   Copyright

Published by Watkins and Kracke, Ltd., 51/52 Beech Street, London E.C.


The Shades of the Palm

14 April 1910 



Christmas Cards by "Dauber"

A Christmas Greeting!

Hark! the herald angels sing

11 December 1909


Hoping you'll spend a nice time this Xmas, and sew-on

Note: The button is a real button stuck to the card


Christmas cones but once a year

so hope you'll keep it up!

23 December 1910

Man wants but little here below.

Toi wish you a Merry Xmas ...



A Merry Christmas

Overprint of Satire Series card

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The cards above are by "Dauber" and the one on the right, in very much the same style, with a Happy Christmas message and a short verse is signed by Fredk Spurgin and published by the Avenue Publishing Co. Other cards make the link between "Dauber" and the Paternoster series.


A Happy Christmas!

Hoping you'll have many large cheques on you!

The Avenue Publishing Co.


The Valentine Series

This card would appear to be a clear extension of the Dauber cards, originally produced for Christmas, 1909, with a follow-up a couple of months later for St Valentine's day - said to be one of 24.

Published by:  W. & K. Ltd., Beech House, 51-52 Beech Street, Barbican, London E.C.

Printed in Germany


With St Valentine's Greeting

To stop your tongue from wagging

There seems no mortal law,

So we are glad, there's one thing left,

That can make you Hold Your Jaw!

The Valentine Series No. 3?


14 February 1910

Burlesque Series Christmas Cards

A Merry Xmas

Poor Jock hanging up the mistletoe


A Merry Christmas to You

Last Xmas  -  This Xmas


Other Christmas Cards

published by Watkins & Krake

Christmas Greetings

Once more the snow is on the ground,

'Tis Christmastide with us again,

With joy and mirth this day be crowned;

Peace on earth we all proclaim.

24 December 1909

A Happy Christmas

I send hearty greetings to friends far and near; A right merry Christmas; A happy New Year.

 Series No 558

21 December 1909


It would seem that all Watkins & Krake Christmas Cards were printed for Christmas 1909 as the company was formed in 1909 and broke up in 1910.


A Christmas Greeting

Series No 556

Hearty Christmas Wishes

Series No 561


The Valentine Series

Published by:  W. & K. Ltd., Beech House, 51-52 Beech Street, Barbican, London E.C.

Printed in Germany


With St Valentine's Greeting

To stop your tongue from wagging

There seems no mortal law,

So we are glad, there's one thing left,

That can make you Hold Your Jaw!

The Valentine Series No. ?3?

The Snap-Shot Series

At the Sea-side

Snapshot Series No 530


What are the wild waves saying

Snapshot Series No 532


Published by:  W. & K. Ltd., Beech House, 51-52 Beech Street, Barbican, London E.C.

Printed in Germany


Snapshot Series  No 538

Beginning Early

Snapshot Series No 539

22 October 1909


The Elegant Series

A Reverie

The Elegant Series  No 518


Published by:  W. & K. Ltd., Beech House, 51-52 Beech Street, Barbican, London E.C.

Printed in Germany



Known posted December 1910


A Persian Beauty

The Elegant Series No 523

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may

Old Time is still aflying  Robert Herrick

The Elegant Series  No 502


To a Dear one far away!

The Elegant Series No 527

The Floral Series

Published by:  W. & K. Ltd., Beech House, 51-52 Beech Street, Barbican, London E.C.

Printed in Germany

Known posted August 1909


Many Happy Returns

The Floral Series No 553

Birthday Wish

The Floral Series No 553

I send you roses - The emblem of prettiness

The Floral Series  No 542


Beginning Early

The Floral Series  No 543


Happy Birthday

The Floral Series  No 554


The Gravure Series

I think I'll buy a baby while they're cheap

The Gravure Series No 9

Posted 5 May 1910


Published by Watkins and Kracke, Barbican, London, E. C.


Signed D. Rutherford


No Ma - I'm not climbing after the jam. I've fell off the stool

The Gravure Series No 15


I wonder what I'd better do next

The Gravure Series No 18

Posted 13 September 1910

Supplementary Notes

The Watkins Family as Post Card Publishers

The company Watkins & McCombie originated in 1775 but was first registered as a Limited company in 1898 with directors P. W. S. Watkins and P. J. Noble. It was based at 7 Paternoster Row, and was publishing post cards by 1900. In January 1907 the company was acquired by Messers Sandle Brothers, wholesale stationers and postcard publishers of Paternoster Row.


Mitchell & Watkins was formed in 1904, initially with offices are 63 St, Pauls Churchyard, adjacent to Cannon Alley (which lead to Paternoster Row). It seems very likely that Eustace Watkins was the Watkins partner. In October 1905 the partners escaped with their lives when the office building burnt down and the business was relocated at 59 Paternoster Row. The "Canon Series" of postcards includes many views of South East England and comic cards by Archibald English and Ernest Edward Wise. A deed of assignment relating to debts to creditors made in April 1908 indicates the partnership had effectively dissolved by this date.


The name of Bernard Watkins, of 13 Paternoster Row, appears as "publisher" on some of the Seaside postcards by "F S" in 1906 which were also published by the London View Company Ltd. Some view cards were published by B. S. Watkins & Co., West Croydon, and posted in February 1909.


Eustace Watkins copyrighted the early postcards of the Burlesque Series in January 1908 but these cards did no give the name of a publisher or an address. By June 1908 at least some of the cards in the Burlesque Series named Eustace Watkins as the publisher and gave the address 51-52 Beech Street, London E.C. Possibly in the first half of 1909 the publisher name changed to Watkins & Kracke.


Watkins & Kracke was formed in 1909 but appears to have only lasted a short time, with the last cards issued in the Burlesque series have the address 51-52 Beech Street, but no publisher name, which may indicate that some postcard publication continued after the partnership had dissolved..

Philip Watkins Steer Watkins (1842-1913)

Philip Watkins Steer-Watkins was born at Paddington, Middlesex, on 3 March 1842, the son of Philip Richardson Steer (1813-1898), chemist, and Catherine Christiana Watkins (1812-1885). He married Jane Ann Faulkner in 1876, and their children were Benjamin Cecil Steer-Watkins (1878-1959), Eustace Faulkner Steer-Watkins (1879-1970), Beatrice Emma Steer-Watkins (1880-1969), Philip Bernards Steer-Watkins (1882-1970), Catherine Gladys Steer-Watkins (1885-1979), Allan Leighton Steer-Watkins (1886-1886) and Owen Noel Steer-Watkins (1888-1964).

In 1881 he was described as a "Quill Merchant" living in Beckenham. Kent and ten years later, occupation unchanged, he was living in Burnt Ash Hill, Lee, London.

In 1901 he and the family were living in Croydon. He was described as a stationer and his sons Benjamin, Eustace and Philip [Bernard] were described as stationer's clerks, presumably working for their father.

In 1911 he was described as a stationer living in Croydon, Surrey, and Benjamin, who was still living at home was described as a motor car dealers clerk. Daughter Gladys was described as a Stationers Invoice Clerk and youngest son Owen was a costume manufacturers Warehouseman.

Note: basic family information comes from a family tree on Ancestry.

Eustace Faulkner Steer Watkins (1879-1970)
Eustace Faulkner Steer Watkins was the son of Philip Watkins Steer Watkins (1842-1913, a quill merchant in 1881 and 1891) and Jane Ann Faulkner (1847-1938) and was the brother of Philip Bernard Steer Watkins (1882-1970). He is listed in the electoral register for 1909 as living at 63 Nimrod road, Streatham, S W, with qualifying property at 51 & 52 Beech Street. In 1905 he had married Agnes May Ruth Gogay (1883-1918) and in 1911 he is listed as 31, born, Lewisham, Kent, a dealer and agent for motor cars living at 143 Louisville Rd, Balham, with wife Agnes (27, born Camberwell and children Richard (5, Southend on Sea), Agnes (4) and Ruth (2) born at Streatham, and baby Philip born at Balham. As the following card shows he continued as a motor car dealer.

Eustace Watkins was a London dealer of Wolseley cars located at Croydon from about 1906 and at one time was the largest distributor of Wolseley cars in the world. In 1927 Lord Nuffield brought out Wolseley Motor Company and Eustace acquired their works in Chelsea. Eustace Watkins offered custom coachwork, most notably the Wolsey Hornet Specials some of which were built for Eustace Watkins by Abbey, Whittingham and Mitchell and others.


Philip Bernard Steer Watkins (1882-1970)
Philip Bernard Steer Watkins (1882-1970) was born in Kent, the son of Philip Watkins Steer Watkins (1842-1913, a quill merchant in 1881 and 1891) and Jane Ann Faulkner (1847-1938) and was the brother of Eustace Faulkner Steer Watkins (1879-1970). In 1939 he was living in Ealing and described as a director of Whitingham Mitchel Ltd, motor body builders.

Max Krake (1879-1948)

Max Krake (1879-1948) was born in Germany, and probably came to England after 1901 as he cannot be located in the census of that year. In 1908 (and 1910) he was listed at 51 Beech Street, Barbican, E C, as a fine art printer and according to Bryatt had previously been with the firm of merchants Levy and Krake Ltd. For a short time in 1909/10 he was publishing post cards as part of Watkins & Krake Ltd. In the 1911 census he is described as a merchant in fancy good, and was living in a boarding house in Hampstead.  By 1913 his business had moved to Finsbury court and he is subsequently described as a fine art printer (1913), a manufacturing agent (1915) and a fancy goods importer (1925). He was also described as a toy merchant n 1925, when a fireman was killed fighting a fire in his basement warehouse, in 2 Finsbury Street, London. As a German citizen it is not known what happened to him during the First World War but he did no apply for British citizenship until 1932, while living at 13 Lutterell Avenue, Putney, S W 15, where he was still living when he died in 1948.
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