Valentine tokens were exchanged long before the Greetings Card Industry was invented. The commercialisation all happened in the Victorian era, when the printing techniques enable low cost mass production of coloured images. Raphael Tuck & Sons, who had print works in London and also Saxony, were pioneers in developing the ‘Post Card’. Many of the first Valentine Cards were just like postcards….. flat cards. True they also produced folded cards with lace trim and other embellishments, but it was the flat cards, at a modest price that satisfied the mass market. The Card above dates from circa 1885.
Three more cards, from my collection, are also samples of Victorian Valentine Cards. Dated around 1900 and perhaps depict a further development in art style of the period.
Valentines senders were supposed to remain anonymous, which to me seemed rather strange…no point in ‘secret love’. But I guess in the current Lockdown life we live, with many folk living lives apart, that many NEW methods of expressing ones “socially distanced” affectations have become the mode of conveyance. I also guess the messages and the intentions remain the same.
Valentines Day it may be but our message remains the same….
Please Remember to ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2021