A selection of strange festive greeting cards from 1870-1900
Ah Christmas. A time of year when many take a month off from reality and lose themselves in a world of food, drink and bizarre traditions.
It would seem it was always thus, as this selection of greeting cards dating from 1870 to 1900 can confirm.
There's lashings of morbid Victorian humour, a few faces from your nightmares and more than a few scenes of animals acting like people.
Kindly provided by Manchester Metropolitan University's Special Collections Museum, here are fifty greeting cards from the Seddon Collection, one of the largest collections of Victorian and Edwardian Cards commercial greetings cards in public hands, with over 32,000 examples.
Here's Special Collections Museum Curator Stephanie Boydell to give a bit of background: “It’s fascinating to see these old illustrations, which in comparison to today’s cute Christmas cards look odd and even slightly scary!
“They were, however, designed to be humorous and meaningful, representing ancient traditions and long-held customs and beliefs. They also give us historical insights, such as the human-like fruit that weren’t in season and only available to the wealthier in society – which might explain the ironic ‘absent friends’ message.
“It’s rewarding to be able to preserve and showcase this incredibly valuable collection of greetings cards, which tell us so much about the mores and conventions of the times.”
Enjoy, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
All image credits: Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections Museum
All these cards are from the Seddon Collection of Victorian and Edwardian Greetings Cards. All the cards shown here are dated from around 1870-1900.
The Seddon Collection is held at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections Museum. It is one of the largest collections of Victorian and Edwardian Cards commercial greetings cards in public hands, with over 32,000 examples.
It is part of Manchester Met’s Special Collections museum, a resource holding over 100 collections and archives from 19th century children’s books to 20th is currently located at Manchester Met’s library at All Saints campus on Oxford Road and is due to be moved to the University’s new and impressive landmark library development, with building work due to start in summer next year.
For more information about the Special Collections Museum https://www.mmu.ac.uk/special-... or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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