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Worldwide & Great Britain - Dec 2021

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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    Lot 1220

    CHRISTMAS INCLUDING CANCELLATIONS - THE VERY RARE FIRST CHRISTMAS CARD: An example of the first Christmas Card (130 x 82 mm) in exceptional unused condition. About a dozen examples of this card are recorded; the overwhelming majority of which are used. A true classic of Victorian design and innovation. HISTORICAL NOTE: The credit for designing the first Christmas card is given to John Callcott Horsely R.A. He was a well known painter who in December 1843 at the request of his friend Sir Henry Cole (founding director of the V & A) carried out the design work. At Christmas time Sir Henry - as was the custom among his peers would hand write greetings and best wishes to his family, friends and business acquaintances (the origin of the Christmas letter). But with all his ventures, Cole had little time to inscribe countless personal Christmas greetings and so came up with the idea of a special printed Christmas greetings card. The first edition of cards were lithographed and hand coloured showing a family party with the legend "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". they were printed by Jobbins of Warwick Court, London, each was hand coloured by a professional "Colourer" named Mason. The card also states that it was "Published at Summerly's Home Treasury Office, 12 Old Bond Street, London who sold surplus cards from the from the print run of 1,000 at 1/- each. The central panel shows a family enjoying a Christmas feast as they all toast their absent friend (the addressee) during the festive season, with panels on either side depicting the charitable acts of "feeding the hungry" and "clothing the poor". The central panel caused such a stir with the anti-drinking lobby that it was quickly withdrawn. A used example sold in our June 2003 sale for £5500 and another, also used, in a London auction of 18.6.2009 for £7500. This example is signed by Arthur Blair on the rear in pencil author of Christmas Cards for the Collector (1986) and is a believed to have been in his private collection after he discovered them in the post WWII period in a London antique shop. Our vendor subsequently found them apparently undescribed in a lot at a Phillips auction in London many years ago. Also the 1884 Reproduction of the same card used. (2 cards) Cross Reference : XMAS CARDS, PICTURE POSTCARDS

    Estimate: £5000

    Worldwide & Great Britain - Dec 2021, Lot 1220

    CHRISTMAS INCLUDING CANCELLATIONS - THE VERY RARE FIRST CHRISTMAS CARD: An example of the first Christmas Card (130 x 82 mm) in exceptional unused condition. About a dozen examples of this card are recorded; the overwhelming majority of which are used. A true classic of Victorian design and innovation. HISTORICAL NOTE: The credit for designing the first Christmas card is given to John Callcott Horsely R.A. He was a well known painter who in December 1843 at the request of his friend Sir Henry Cole (founding director of the V & A) carried out the design work. At Christmas time Sir Henry - as was the custom among his peers would hand write greetings and best wishes to his family, friends and business acquaintances (the origin of the Christmas letter). But with all his ventures, Cole had little time to inscribe countless personal Christmas greetings and so came up with the idea of a special printed Christmas greetings card. The first edition of cards were lithographed and hand coloured showing a family party with the legend "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". they were printed by Jobbins of Warwick Court, London, each was hand coloured by a professional "Colourer" named Mason. The card also states that it was "Published at Summerly's Home Treasury Office, 12 Old Bond Street, London who sold surplus cards from the from the print run of 1,000 at 1/- each. The central panel shows a family enjoying a Christmas feast as they all toast their absent friend (the addressee) during the festive season, with panels on either side depicting the charitable acts of "feeding the hungry" and "clothing the poor". The central panel caused such a stir with the anti-drinking lobby that it was quickly withdrawn. A used example sold in our June 2003 sale for £5500 and another, also used, in a London auction of 18.6.2009 for £7500. This example is signed by Arthur Blair on the rear in pencil author of Christmas Cards for the Collector (1986) and is a believed to have been in his private collection after he discovered them in the post WWII period in a London antique shop. Our vendor subsequently found them apparently undescribed in a lot at a Phillips auction in London many years ago. Also the 1884 Reproduction of the same card used. (2 cards) Cross Reference : XMAS CARDS, PICTURE POSTCARDS

    Estimate: £5000 ×