Curator's Cache: A Token of Love

Curator’s Cache: A Token of Love

Valentine’s Day Cards, c.1880. 

Valentine featuring printed scraps.

Winnetkan Susan Garland received these cards sometime in the 1880s.  While valentines were still sent to romantic loves, in the 1800s, people began to send greetings to a larger circle of loved ones or friends.

Lace paper valentine with the phrase, “Who loves sincere loves well.”

Victorian valentines were often hand-decorated with ribbon, lace, or sometimes feathers and real plants and flowers. These valentines also incorporate “scraps,” printed paper cutouts of various subjects that were used for various crafts, including scrapbooks. The term “scrapbook,” in fact, comes from these colorful paper goods. Paper lace was popular too, and is used here to give the cards more layers and dimension.

A poem inserted into a valentine tells of undying love that “never shall decay.”

Unlike today, the Victorian period also introduced the trend of mean or nasty valentines. Not the least bit sweet or loving, these comical valentines generally made fun of the recipient’s appearance, disposition, or love life (or lack thereof). It seems that Miss Garland was only blessed with kind greetings, however, on this particular February 14th!


This edition of Curator’s Cache is online-only. If you’d like to see our collection in person, please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment, or stop by during our open hours.

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One Response to “Curator’s Cache: A Token of Love”

  1. Lera Hequile February 7, 2017 at 9:15 AM #

    Nice collections. Really loved it.

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