162 year old Christmas card sold at auction
A Christmas card sent 162 years ago as one of the first seasonal greeting cards has been sold for £8,469 at a Wiltshire auction.
The hand-colored card, which shows a family celebrating around a table, is one of about 10 surviving from an original batch of 1,000 printed in 1843, auctioneer Henry Aldridge said.
The cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a Londoner who is generally recognized as the inventor of the commercial Christmas card.
The card was bought at the auction in the town of Devizes in southern England by Jakki Brown, editor and co-owner of “Progressive Greetings” magazine and general secretary of the Greeting Card Association.
The card was originally sent to a Miss Mary Tripsack, a close friend of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the wife of the poet Robert Browning.
“We don’t know who sent it to Miss Tripsack. We can only assume that they must have been of means, as cards were a novelty at the time,” Aldridge said.
John Calcott Horsley, a British narrative painter, designed the card at the request of his friend Sir Henry Cole, the first director of the Victoria and Albert Museum