In 1843 Sir Henry Cole, a London based civil servant commissioned the first Christmas card from John Callcott Horsley. Cole had worked with Roland Hill until 1840 and was involved with launching the first postage stamp, the Penny Black. Horsley was a celebrated artist in his own right. His first design for the first Christmas card caused some controversy as it depicted a child drinking wine.
With the Industrial Revolution gaining pace in Britain, and improved printing methods, the Christmas card had become firmly established as a Christmas tradition by around 1860. The cards of today invariably show snow scenes or Father Christmas. Early Christmas cards depicted flowers or other spring scenes that were a promise of the warmer weather to come. Louise Prang introduced the Christmas cards to America in 1875 but the two sided postcard dented the popularity of the enveloped Christmas card for a while, returning to popularity in the 1920’s.
Styles changed over the years of the 20th century. Ever popular were the traditional winter scenes but during the two world wars patriotic designs became popular. By the 1950’s Christmas cards had followed seaside postcards depicting a saucy cartoon often involving Santa Claus.
Although available commercially in many forms home made cards have been popular since the late 19th century with digital photography and editing today being the latest in home made custom cards.
Why not celebrate a traditional Victorian Christmas in your dolls house this year and add a set of 1/12th or 1/24th scale Victorian Christmas cards available from our online store.