Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Vintage Valentines...

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
[1960s]


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...
[1970s]

Was this ever a phrase?!
[FHM version: You give me the horn]

Puns? Check.
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
[1960s]


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
Perfect for hat wearers Helga or La Dama


No words of love are best delivered on a pig's bum...

...Valentines Day is all about the STEAK!
(Maybe not for veggies Eartha Kitsch and Vix)

Puss in Boots explores BDSM. And Mary Janes


Okay...this is not going to be a healthy relationship


Ahem.

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!

Lakota x
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
If you can't get enough vintage Valentines, there's a load more on my Pinterest board. For the perfect present, see my previous post.

42 comments:

  1. Have a great time at the London Musuem..what a fun collection to go and see. If I lived closer, I would visit for sure. I just adore the older Valentines Cards, they are so cute (granted some can be a bit odd as well..haha). We use to give out Valentines cards at school, when I was a young child, I sure wished I had kept some of them now..they would have been great to look back on.
    Have a lovely Valentines Day!

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  2. Oh I love the last card too Lakota, it's awesome!

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  3. and the way Saul's signed it. Your "cookie doll" awwww too cute!

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  4. Wow, thank you so much for sharing! Most of them would offend me hugely, but I love the last one! Happy Valentine's Day! x

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  5. You've done it again Lakota, perfect post. Have fun at the museum x

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  6. How funny, I was looking at some of these cards online today too!! Have a fun day out x

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  7. Actually the last one is really sweet, I saw the apron bit and was all prepared for a 1950s sexism fest but no. The Veal one makes me very sad indeed! Have a good day out, never been to the museum of London, will have to pop in.

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  8. Oh YES a jolly good Edwardian restraining order is just what's needed for that chap with the octopus arms ... I don't think we need worry, she looks like a tough biatch and he won't be copping much of a feel through that whalebone corset! Hope you have an awesome day!! xoxoxo

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  9. Just horning in to say (eh?) that was fun. Thanks for sharing, old girl. xx

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  10. Haha, id be happy with any of these beauties. Hope you have a fab day :o) Scarlett x

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  11. They are brilliant, Lakota! The illustrations on the last one are adorable.
    "You need a [insert your own joke here] and you know it"... Knee in the balls? Punch in the face? Oh I'm just so aggressive, no wonder I have no romance in my life! xxx

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  12. Isn't it funny how times have changed? I never thought of using Valentines to show such a social commentary. I bet my dad gave my mom that last one.

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  13. I'm thinking there must have been lots of pencils chewed down to the end whilst the verse writers came up with those! Or not, as the case may be. I love the last one, which reminds me of one my Mum made for my Dad, copied from an actual one, entitled 'A friend is like a pair of pants...' Another bit of fifties class!
    x

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  14. They're so beautiful, I've been all over you Pinterest this morning. The first one is my firm favourite but the sweater one is just adorable too.

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  15. Charming little things, those Valentine's. I remember as a kid carefully choosing my cards for my friends. Wishing you a very happy, romantickal day! xo.

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  16. These just made my day I love all of them, the weird, the cute but your captions made this post! I love your sense of humor dear, always makes me happy! The trip to the museum sounds like a really fun day, enjoy!

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  17. Awwwww! Such cute cards, even the S&M pussy and the dodgy little girl. Hope you had a brilliant time at the museum.xxx

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  18. I'm so not a Valentines person, and almost steered away from reading this, but I should know better. There should never be any doubt in any post of yours. This was great. Love your comments on the "You need a ....and you know it" card. Your fav was really sweet; almost made me want a valentine. :-)

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  19. Love these, so hilarious and slightly inappropriate!

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  20. I loved looking at these! gutted no one sent me the fridge one today :(

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  21. both captions and cards very cool lakota, and more than tolerable unlike most of the super-boring ones in the shops these days-they'd make a killing I reckon if they reproduced these for sale x

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  22. Love the valentines!! Wow, it would be great fun to visit a museum full of them!! Happy Valentine's Day!

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  23. These are amazing! And they're so, so pretty. And ha! That veal one...oh such a bad idea from the card industry. And that poor little thing looks like he's already slathered in blood. Oh god.

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  24. What a wonderful collection of vintage Valentine Ccards, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Love them all.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  25. I absolutely love this post!! I agree with the kitschier the better! they're sooo funny and cute! just horning-in to say?? hahahahaha and "i'm ready to be defrosted?" mwuahahahaha those two are my fave! love all of them!!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    xx susan

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  26. I love the vintage cute cards and your funny
    My fave are the last ones and of course the hat little cutey. ahahha crazy hats indeed.
    Happy Amor Day!!
    besotes

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  27. ~*Happy Valentines Day*~
    Loved all of the cards... I thought the Mascara one was way too cute!
    The last one took the cake for being the best.

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  28. Oh there really is some sweet ones here. As you say, they are so much nicer than the ones found in stores these days. Vintage or handmade always wins in my book! x

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  29. Love these cards. The ones on sale today are boring in comparison. Definitley made me laugh and great pictures on them.

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  30. oh i love them! i cant believe how dodgy some are!!!!!! thanks for sharing and for your comments. let me know how your move goes. xxx

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  31. aahhh those did make me smile there great. Loved the hat one. Hope you had a fab time at the musuem. dee x

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  32. I just love the corniness and cuteness!

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  33. Love all of these. Thanks for this post. Really made me chuckle. Now if only I can get the hubs to send me a valentine.

    Madison xxx

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  34. Ah the child in the fridge - child cruelty, paedophilia or both!?

    Jem xXx

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  35. Just love these cards.especially the last ones.too cute.

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  36. Great collection. The last one reminds me of the sort my parents sent!

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  37. Well who doesn't want a slightly rapey card?! I hope in the follow up one he was getting a punch in the face.

    I've tagged you in my latest post if you fancy taking part :)

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  38. By far the best Valentines post I've seen!!!

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  39. Blimey some of those are bonkers. Very funny though. I love the last one too, not least because my gran used to use the word 'negligee'. Thanks for the chuckle - really cheered me up!!

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  40. What a fab collection of true vintage treasures... thanks for posting...

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