VINTAGE CHRISTMAS CARDS
It seems that most of us send e-cards for Christmas these days, but until recently families would easily post over 50 cards at Christmas to their loved ones.
The idea of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK in 1843 by a Sir Henry Cole. He was a civil servant who was interested in the new 'Public Post Office' and wondered how it could be used more by ordinary people. He had the idea of Christmas cards with his friend John Horsley, who was an artist. They designed the first card and sold them for one shilling each. The card had three panels. The outer two panels showed people caring for the poor and in the centre panel was a family having a large Christmas dinner. Some people didn't like the card because it showed a child being given a glass of wine.
About 1000 cards were printed and sold. They are now very rare and cost thousands of pounds.
*Only 15% of Christmas cards are bought by men
*A huge 45% of all cards posted are Christmas cards
*Only 33% of cards have a religious theme
*One of the earliest Christmas cards sold for £22,000 in 2001
See below for some of our favourite vintage Christmas cards.