By the 1850s, the greeting card had been transformed from a relatively expensive, handmade and hand-delivered gift to a popular and affordable means of personal communication, due largely to advances in printing, mechanization, and a reduction in postal rates with the introduction of the postage stamp. This was followed by new trends like Christmas cards, the first of which appeared in published form in London in 1843 when Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Calcott Horsley to design a holiday card that he could send to his friends and acquaintances. In the 1860s, companies like Marcus Ward & Co, Goodall and Charles Bennett began the mass production of greeting cards. They employed well known artists such as Kate Greenaway and Walter Crane as illustrators and card designers. The extensive Laura Seddon Greeting Card Collection from the Manchester Metropolitan University gathers 32,000 Victorian and Edwardian greeting cards and 450 Valentine's Day cards dating from the early nineteenth century, printed by the major publishers of the day.
Cover Verse: An Irish Blessing May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face And the rains fall soft upon your fields, And, until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand. Inside Verse: God bless you with the joy of His presence and the gift of His love on St. Patrick's Day and always.
The market for Christmas collectibles is actually on the rise, according to Terry Kovel, co-author of the Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide. "All of the holidays have gotten more popular in collecting," she tells GoodHousekeeping.com. "And the most popular one obviously is Christmas." Vintage cards in good condition can fetch about $10 to $50 apiece, she says, but particularly valuable ones can shoot up into the three- or even four-figure range.
This card has optional greetings: Happy New Year, Kung Hei Fat Choi, Wishing You Happiness and Prosperity, Happy Spring, Welcome Spring, Celebrate New Beginnings, Hope Springs Eternal, Stay Strong, With Sympathy, Have a Peaceful Day, Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, Thank You, Thinking of You, Get Well Soon, Just Saying Hi, You're Invited, Good Luck, [No Caption]