Sunday, February 14, 2010

v day

 image source: Twin Brooks Antiques and Collectibles
Yet another holiday's modern practices find their roots in the Victorian Era.  And all of these years I was blaming Hallmark for using Valentine's Day as a reason to have some business in between New Year's and Easter.

This news story from The Washington Examiner briefly discusses the Victorian tradition of making Valentines for the one or ones an individual loved:
FREDERICK, MD. — The Museum of Frederick County History will host a morning filled with white lace, red ribbons, pink hearts and more on Saturday as remnants of the Victorian age will come together to create valentines for the whole family.

During Victorian times, valentines, like most everything else, were equally elaborate and decorative.

Before 1846, Valentines were handmade affairs, and although popular, were not widely exchanged. But after mass production made fancy papers available, the elaborate lace cards with ribbons, flowers, and romantic sentiments took Victorian society by storm.

The Valentine reached its height of popularity in the late 1800s and young lovers found this February holiday more exciting than Christmas.

Victorian Valentines have a distinctive look — lacy with paper cutouts, gold leaf and ribbon — the more elaborate the better. There were often layers and layers of fabric and paper, folded intricately and sometimes three dimensional. Visual and literal puns were quite common, such as "forget me knot" and "bee mine."

Flowery prose was the norm, as well.

1 comment:

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