I'm off to the Museum of London today, where one of their collections is over 1,700 vintage Valentine cards, dating from the 1800s onward. Sadly it turns out that they only have a few on display at the moment, but before I go I just thought I'd share some of the twentieth century's finest examples. What else has so successfully made the transition from the 1820s to the present day I wonder? The tradition of sending Christmas cards might be on the wane, but woe betide the man who doesn't send a Valentines card to his lover.
Whilst lots of bloggers have probably written a similar post I'm happy to go with the crowd on this - the kitschier the better! I think it might be the terrible puns - these days the only place I'm likely to get a job utilising my caption writing super-power [ok, it's not quite flight or x-ray vision] is for a British tabloid, but if I'd been born 50 years earlier I like to think I could have come up with some great cards. Here's some of my favourites:
Hipster girl in floral headpiece a la Desiree
1950 card with 'real' eyelashes
Who dunnit - the mascara wand or the sharpened pencil?
Salad threesome - You 'bowl' me over
I'd have worked 'toss' in there somewhere...
Was this ever a phrase?!
[FHM version: You give me the horn]
Small child showing underwear? Check.
Dubious sexual advances? Check.
Speaking of which...
Need a what - restraining order? You know it.
[Slightly rapey looking Edwardian card]
Then we can marry and you can mend my clothes FOREVER!
Brokeback Mountain was heating up...
...and Ennis had the perfect card for Jack
I'm at a loss as to why a little girl who appears to be weeing on a barrel
makes a suitable Valentine, but that's the joy of vintage for you.
I love this one, a random mix of niche fashion commentary
and unnecessary quotation marks
No words of love are best delivered on a pig's bum...
...Valentines Day is all about the STEAK!
Puss in Boots explores BDSM. And Mary Janes
Okay...this is not going to be a healthy relationship
You can buy vintage Valentines cards for just a few pounds, so they're an affordable and adorable thing to collect. Some have been signed, but there are plenty of dead-stock examples available which would be a fun alternative to making your own (or buying one from Paperchase).
I'll leave you with one of my favourites, I love the artwork and it's sweet and funny - so much nicer than most you can buy these days:
Happy Valentines Day everybody!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥