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  • Writer's pictureKathie Hartmans

Have $10,752 for 1st Christmas Card?

During the holiday season, the most interesting news always seems to hit the newswires! We could not let Christie’s of London’s auction of one of the estimated 30 remaining first commercially printed Christmas cards go unnoticed. The card addressed to “Mother and Father” has an estimated price of $10,752 (with an asking price of $25,000).

The card dates back to England, December 1843. Painter and illustrator John Callcott Horsley designed the hand-colored lithograph in England. Only 1,000 were printed at a price of a shilling apiece (at the time equivalent to U.S. 30 cents). Sir Henry Cole, an inventor, and founder of the London Victoria & Albert Museum, suggested Horsley create the image. He is attributed for starting the tradition of sending holiday cards.

Scene was denounced as humbug!

The merry Victorian-scene created quite the stir because it showed a family toasting the recipient with red wine glasses. Teetotalers back then felt a bit too much holiday cheer going on—especially in the foreground where a young girl is taking a sip of wine from an adult’s glass.

The Temperance Society kicked up such a fuss it took three years before another Christmas card was produced!

I am sure Hallmark toasts both Horsley and Cole for creating the multi-million-dollar greeting card industry!

Here’s another collectible for you!

This year, our Quality Bindery Services holiday card was designed by Sue Almon-Pesch, the creator of our 1993 QBS logo. We are excited to support the Western New York Book Arts Center! Their artisans printed our card on their antique letterpress, and our in-house foil stamping department added the shiny gold stars!

All of us at QBS wish you all the joys of the season and happiness throughout the coming year!

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