Last week I went to an auction just to look around and I was stunned by a group of items being auctioned. Someone had amassed a huge, huge collection of antique or vintage paper valentine cards from the early 1900’s. There were even some dated as far back as the Civil War days!
The first printed paper Valentines cards made in the US appeared around 1840. These were not ordinary cards – many were stand-up with bases or three-dimensional with fold out layers. Also popular because they were easy to mail were honeycomb paper puffs which opened up to form balls, bells or hearts.
The collection at the auction had many of these various styles and were in very good condition with the colors still vivid. I’m not sure why they were so enchanting. Possibly because of all the history behind them? Because they were reminders of how sweet and simple life used to be? They could be called “corny” sentiments, but I prefer to see the “romance” of them.
Cupids, hearts and roses were the theme of most of them, but there were also cats and kittens which I favored, of course. I am now thinking of starting a new hobby – my own collection of vintage Valentines of only cat styles. And I don’t mean the ones made the last few decades which are only copies of the same artwork style. While they might be cute and whimsical, I want to find authentic cards, ones that were delivered to a sweetheart from a nervous suitor, or fancy embossed fold-outs meant to impress.
I’m on to a new quest, but I also have some great gift ideas on my website for your cat lover valentine. Check out the vintage look on some great pendant necklaces with matching earrings. Jewelry always makes a good impression on Feb. 14th!