Tuesday, February 14, 2012

19th Century Valentines


In collecting 19th century paper, my primary focus has been the trade cards and rewards of merit that were pasted into Victorian scrapbooks. Many other beautiful things found their way into those scrapbooks, such as lacy valentines, and I've never been able to resist the layered sort that follow. These are all from my collection ...


Shown at a reduced size is the envelope for the valentine immediately preceding it. The valentine was sent to Carrie Poole.

And this is the sentiment found inside.


Happy Valentine's Day, from Mark!
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16 comments:

  1. Hi Mark,

    The Valentine's cards are wonderful and your photography is excellent. Seeing them is almost like touching them.

    Do you collect any turn of the century prose and poetry books? Just curious.

    your friend,
    Mrs. D

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    1. Hi, Mrs. D,

      My own library tends to fall into four categories: art & art history, architecture & interior design, biographies & history, and metaphysical & psychology/self-help.

      I do have some turn of the century books from my grandmother, the sort that have handsome end pages, and I've considered featuring them on a posting. I also have several small 19th century childrens books, the type that might have originally cost a dime.

      As I said, my primary interest is in Victorian scraps and trade cards, and these I keep in an album with plastic sleeves. Now that I think of it, most of the ephemera has moved from one album to another!

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  2. These are charming -the victorians were so good at sentiment. Happy Valentines Day!

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    1. It's a strange notion, but I wonder whether less visual (and audial) distractions were a factor in making Victorians more sentimental.

      Happy Valentine's Day!

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  3. Superb examples of Victorian valentines. These confections seem the epitome of 19th century culture, incorporating the growth of sentimentality, free time and 'genteel' handicrafts for women, and above all the mechanical manufacturing capacity for items such as lithographs and die-cuts.

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    1. Hello, Parnassus - Isn't it interesting that today's technology could easily produce similar die-cuts by laser, and yet I've never seen a contemporary creation as lovely as the last example.

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  4. Dear Mark - as Mrs. D mentioned, the way you have presented these cards is wonderful. They are almost 3D. The Victorian cards were so elaborate and detailed compared with today.
    My grandmother had a wonderful collection of cards sent by my grandfather during WW1, some from France where he was stationed. They were very sentimental and often embroidered.
    Have a lovely Valentine's Day.

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    1. Dear Rosemary - I'm familiar with those embroidered cards, though I don't have any in my collection. I think embroidery designs appeared here in the United States in copybooks and early women's publications, and they were printed on perforated cardboard.

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  5. Oh these are beautiful, Mark. I'm going to pin them on Pinterest. :) Are you on there by the way? I think you'd enjoy it. But be warned, for visual people like us, it's time consuming and can become obsessive. I am a prime example.

    Happy Valentine's Day, m'dear.

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    1. Hi, Yvette - Oh my gosh, I can barely keep up with blogging and emails! But I will have a look at Pinterest - thanks for pinning me there! Happy Valentine's to you.

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  6. Hi Mark,
    I don't recall seeing such intricate work with/on paper. I understand that the Victorians were great admirers of the baroque and rococo period, but these examples are almost beyond. So impressive!
    Hope you had a lovely Valentine's day.
    Anyes
    XX

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    1. They definitely believed "more is more," didn't they? I spent Valentine's Day painting my porch. Nothing romantic there, but a productive day ...

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  7. These are great eye candy Mark! Have you been following the project Patrick Gracewood (Shadows on Stone blog) is working on? His blog is on my sidebar if you want to look.

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    1. Hi, Theresa - I have seen Patrick Gracewood's current steel cut-out project, and like all his work, it is both amazing and beautiful. His site is always an inspiration.

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  8. Happy Belated Valentine's Day Mark!

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