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Comic valentine

To Captivate a Heart

Q Can anyone suggest a provenance for this item?
It is the front of a folded sheet of illustrated writing paper.
The black working is lithography; the colouring has been added by hand. Might it be American? Size: 113 x 176mm (4½ x 7in).

Graham Hudson

A The item above is a comic valentine from mid to late Victorian England. These scurrilous printed sheets, entered into the humour of the common and middle classes, fun and mischief were their elements. In reality they were masterpieces of the grotesque, venomous in humour, spiteful and rude, expressing anything but love.

Some of the earliest comic valentines were devoted to caricatures of people or were directed at various trades, usually humorous portraits accompanied by extremely uncomplimentary verses that were calculated to wound.

To view more of this type of ephemera visit “A Collection of Curious Valentines” a laughable and quizzical selection of Merry Valentines for persons of both sexes: http://www.scrapalbum.com/svcomic/

Malcolm Warrington



This regular feature invites answers by email to members’ questions on an item of ephemera.