Thursday, February 13, 2014

Victorian Valentine's Day cards

The tradition of sending anonymous Valentine’s Day cards originated in the UK and was popularised by the Victorians as soon as mass-produced, pre-printed cards became available. The Laura Seddon Collection held by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Special Collections was amassed over 25 years and contains more than 50,000 cards. Some of these cards reflect the sentimentality we expect from the supposedly prim and proper Victorians, while others show us a bawdier, grittier side to their nature – and their love livesA heart Valentine featuring silver lace and a picture of Cupid, from the late 1850s. Victorian Valentines were sent anonymously and often carried no message to the recipient - it was expected that the Valentine itself would be message enough