This website represents my personal collection of vintage valentines.
I do my very best to research, date, and annotate the valentines found here. It is, however, a difficult task. Even those few that are marked with a brand name are hard to date. Generally I am relying on dates pencilled on the back of the cards and my own stylistic assessment.
The American Antiquarian Society provides a good history of the valentine card, but like many valentine histories available on the web, the discussion stops in Victorian times. There are some limited examples of mid-century cards on the web, but thus far, I have been unable to find any real information about the history of the valentine card from the 1920s on.
The designer in me appreciates the workmanship of these old cards. Their stunning, unique graphics are far superior to the cookie cutter, bland valentines that I gave and received in the 1980s. Additionally, the creative paper engineering of the mechanical valentines are a delightful reminder that simple, but cleverly used cuts, folds, and movements can transform the ordinary into something truly magical.
Thank you for your interest in this collection!