World's first printed Valentine's Card

Contributed by Castle Museum York

World's first printed Valentine's Card

This is possibly the oldest printed Valentine's card in the world. The delicate card has been pierced to produce a lace effect in the corners and is decorated with cupids, doves and flowers which were probably hand coloured after printing. It was published on 12th January 1797 by John Fairburn of 146, Minories, London. It includes a verse printed around the edge:

"Since on this ever Happy day,
All Nature's full of Love and Play
Yet harmless still if my design,
'Tis but to be your Valentine."

The card was sent by Catherine Mossday to Mr Brown of Dover Place, Kent Road, London. Inside a handwritten message reads intriguingly:
Mr Brown,
As I have repeatedly requested you to come I think you must have some reason for not complying with my request, but as I have something particular to say to you I could wish you make it all agreeable to come on Sunday next without fail and in doing you will oblige your well wisher.
Catherine Mossday.

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Location

York Castle Museum

Culture
Period

1797

Theme
Size
Colour
Material

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