Postcard Used By Mark Twain?

The collecting of postcards has been a lifelong pursuit. All postcard collectors seem to have a repertoire of anecdotal stories regarding their pursuit of the hobby - some funny and some serious. I am no different and often tell the story of the time I "think" I found a postcard "used" by Mark Twain in Vienna, Austria in 1898. I say "think" and "used" because it was never signed nor mailed but circumstantial evidence and research points to a possible Mark Twain connection.

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Punishment in the Middle Ages

 Completely outside my normal collection interests, I came across a series of Middle Ages Punishment postcards published by E. Nister of Nurenburg.  I was intrigued by the series because of the attractive colors and the use of old German in the imprints that made immediate explanation for each card a challenge.  I couldn’t pass them up and after considerable research into Middle Age customs and German language dictionaries as well as discussions with German speaking friends and acquaintances, I offer the following conclusions while conceding that there could be an error or two in my conjectures.

I have found eight to date which seems like a logical number for a complete set but there could be others waiting to be found.  In my searching I have also discovered parts of a second set using black ink on an off-white card stock.  All of the black inked postcards found to date duplicate subject matter of the color set.

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