THE HISTORY of PRINTED SCRAPS 3
THE HISTORY of VALENTINES
The History of Valentines and how they developed from printed scraps
This article was researched from the book "The History of Printed Scraps" by Alistair Allen. It deals with the topic of scrapbooking and cards in depth and I highly recommend it.
The history of Valentines and the images of vintage Valentines, so popular today, are closely associated with the development of scraps, scrapbooking, card making and decoupage.
From the early 1800’s to the 1930’s, scraps were used on cards, in scrap albums, on fancy boxes and on furniture such as room screens. The scraps portrayed a vast spectrum of themes, including the outrageously romantic.
The small images, referred to as scraps, developed first from black and white engravings and hand-coloured lithographs to colour-printed chromolithographs.
These developed into lavish die-cut, embossed and gilded reliefs printed on sheets. Some also had frosted glitter of mica sprinkled onto gummed areas of the image. Images on the die-cut sheets were connected by small paper "ladders". The finest scraps were printed in up to 26 colours and some were so deeply embossed that they resembled carvings.
From the 1850s, sheets of scrap reliefs were especially manufactured for Valentines with small corner scraps that were surrounded by main ornamentation and verses. Tiny scraps of embossed figures, children, trumpets, hearts and flowers were arranged on sheets and could be added to the Valentines. Flowers were also an important theme on printed cards and images of magnificent bouquets were printed on cards of exceptional paper quality.
During the 1880s it became popular to use printed scraps to decorate specially manufactured greeting cards, albums, gifts and blanks. Blanks often had embossed and lacy surfaces which were very popular for the making of Valentines. Scraps gave plenty of choice and variety for decoration..
In England, Edward Elliot and Augustine Thierry were both importers of fine goods from the Continent. The cards and chromolithographs imported by Edwards and Thierry established the Valentine market and led to a rapid rise in the popularity of Valentines in England.
Sometimes manufacturers printed interesting words and verses on the back of scraps like: Truly Thine, Forever my Love, Forget me Not, and Simple though this humble tribute be It may recall the memory of me
Scrap reliefs were often hinged and showed the verse when opened. In America, in the 1880’s, there was a vogue for ‘hidden name’ cards. Visiting cards had a hinged relief in the form of a hand covering the name of the admirer. This was discreetly passed on from the admirer to his sweetheart without her father knowing.
A further development of the valentine card was the much cherished Valentine box. These were often very elaborate, costly to produce and many hours in the making. The boxes were decorated on the outside and inside with scrap reliefs of flowers, hearts, birds and other images, ribbons, beads and feathers.
Dealers of Fancy Stationery flourished as developments within the printing trade enabled the price of reliefs to be dropped. The sizes that could be efficiently produced grew from the earlier small corner squares made for the Valentine trade to large beautifully printed reliefs.
Valentines were in decline by the early 1900's. They had almost fallen into disuse when they were revived by the English printer Raphael Tuck in 1926. After another period of decline due to WW II, Valentines steadily rose in popularity again to become the lucrative business it is today.
Printable crafts in our day continue the tradition of special paper crafts for Valentines. And those original vintage Valentines from the heyday of scraps are once more produced as elements for scrapbooks, card making, journaling and decoupage.
Anni Arts Crafts has professionally designed and illustrated printables for 3D paper crafts,
handmade card designs and craft templates specially created for lovers of paper crafts
by designer Anneke Lipsanen http://www.anniarts.com
Printable crafts created with vintage scraps are part of the Anni Arts Vintage ranges.
FURTHER ARTICLES ABOUT THE HISTORY OF PRINTED SCRAPS:
• The Production and Printing History of Scraps
• The History of Scrapbooks and Albums
• The History of Fancy Printed Goods
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