Dating christmas card
The Christmas card tradition first started in the Victorian era, when the introduction of the Penny Post in England made letter writing very popular — and a somewhat time-consuming effort for prominent society member Henry Cole, according to
As not answering his stack of correspondence appeared impolite, the London socialite decided to speed up the task by enlisting his friend, artist J. Horsley, to design a festive card with a fill-in-the-blank salutation in 1843.
"When you and I go and buy a box of Christmas cards, we buy mass-produced ones," Davies says.
"But over the years there are examples of Christmas cards that have been one-offs or printed in a very small print run created by an artist of significance." Prominent Victorian artist Kate Greenaway designed a number of holiday cards and inspired a slew of competitors.
In later years, companies even commissioned big names like Salvador Dalí, Grandma Moses, and Norman Rockwell for designs.
More recent favorites included illustrators Tasha Tudor and Tyrus Wong.
If you stumble upon a big box of holiday cards at an estate sale, flea market, or even your own attic, here's what to look for in terms of finding the big bucks.
"The royal family sends a lot of Christmas cards," Davies shares.
"They have many people to thank at the end of the year — friends, staff, household members, and so forth — and they are signed and have gradually found their way onto the market." While not many of us have royal connections, it's always possible an ancestor or mutual friend did.
"Maybe your grandfather knew someone of significance all those years ago, maybe they worked on a film set, knew an author, worked in publishing," Davies says.
"The key bit that could add value is the signature.
So, today we have quick & easy last minute romantic printables to add that extra touch of love to your spouse’s gifts or stocking.