In this presentation, Candice will give a brief history of the valentine card, focusing primarily on the valentines of the Regency period, including puzzle purses, elaborate cut-paper valentines, elegantly painted love letters, printed designs with beautiful cameo-embossed borders, cobweb valentines, delicate paper lace, the earliest printed valentines, and more. One of the historical figures featured in the presentation is Elizabeth Cobbold, famous for her extraordinary hand-made valentines given out at her annual Valentine’s Day party. Briefly going beyond the Regency period into the Victorian period, Candice will show how various English traditions made their way into American valentines of the 19th century. The “mother of the American valentine,” Esther Howland, who decided she could make better valentines than the English ones her stationer father imported, will be briefly discussed.
Candice doesn’t collect Regency valentines, but she does collect 19th century American valentines, and she will bring lots of examples, including many by Esther Howland, to display for attendees to view.