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 Greeting Cards

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afrodita
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PostSubject: Greeting Cards   Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:00 pm




Although
European wood engravers produced prints with religious themes as early
as the Middle Ages, the sending of greeting cards at Christmas truly
began during the Victorian Era and is one of the youngest yuletide
traditions.

Christmas cards were
introduced in England in the 1840s. Their forerunners were the letters
(known as "Christmas Pieces") written by schoolboys being educated away
from home who would send seasonal correspondences to their parents. The
letters, written on special paper with elaborate engraved or printed
borders and headings, were adorned with scrolls, flourishes, Biblical
scenes and flowers. The writing of these letters gave the boys an
opportunity to display proof of their penmanship and progress they had
made in the art of writing throughout the school year.

England's penny post, by
which a letter could be sent anywhere in the country for only one
penny, helped to accelerate the use of Christmas cards as a holiday
greeting. Commercial production of cards took on growth in the 1860s in
England, but Christmas cards were not introduced into America until the
1870s when Louis Prang, a German emigrant, opened a small lithograph
store in Roxbury, Massachusetts. There, Prang began producing his first
samples...simple flower designs with the words "Merry Christmas." By
1881, Prang was producing five million cards a year and was following
the practice of English printers who offered substantial prizes to
artists for their best designs for the cards. Many of the winning
entries depicted the Nativity and other Biblical scenes. These works
helped put religious signficance, previously lacking, into the cards.

By the Twentieth Century, the
Christmas card industry had ballooned with estimated annual sales of
three-and-a-half billion to four billion cards. Statistics indicate
that each American family exchanges an average of 60 cards each holiday
season. Thus, in a little over a hundred years, the sending and
receiving of Christmas cards had become a firmly-established tradition.
There is, however, some disagreement regarding the actual identity of
the creator of the very first Christmas card, though many believe it
was probably a narrative painter and member of the Royal Academy of Art
named John Calcott Horsley, and that the inception of the now-familiar
custom happened in the following manner.

In 1843, Sir Henry Cole (who
worked for the British Postal Service and was the first Director of
London's Victoria and Albert Museum), finding that he lacked sufficient
time to write personal greetings to all his friends, asked Horsley to
produce a card. The card was lithographed in dark sepia on stiff
cardboard (5-1/8 inches by 3-1/4 inches) and depicted a Christmas
tableau framed in three panels. The center panel portrayed a family
party in progress with children, parents and grandparents seated around
the table...some raising their glasses in a toast. On either side, were
panels depicting acts of Christmas charity: to the left, feeding the
hungry and to the right, clothing the naked. Beneath appeared the now
familiar phrase: "A Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year To You."

That year, 1,000 of Horsley's
Christmas cards were placed on sale in London. Printed by Jobbins of
Warwick Court in Holborn and hand-colored by a professional in the
trade named Mason, the cost of a single card was one shilling. An
original of this card is considered extremely rare, but copies of a
facsimile reprint issued in 1955 may still be found with relative ease
today.


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Vigs Thy girl
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PostSubject: Re: Greeting Cards   Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:24 pm

Thanks Afrodita!
That reminds me that I better start to write my Christmas cards soon. And I need to buy some Christmas seals where the money goes to different charity for children and young people.

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You got it into yourself to be good at anything, you aim at. The fact is, that you must never give up. Accept what you are and be proud of it, be grateful for it. But never let it go to the head, always keep the feet on the ground. (From Bear Hearts wisdom). Add: Could have been Viggos, too!!!


Last edited by Vigs Thy girl on Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Greeting Cards   Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:25 pm

This year I will be making my own Christmas cards so I have to start now because it is a lot of work. Maybe I will post some here. Does anyone else make some?
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Vigs Thy girl
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PostSubject: Re: Greeting Cards   Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:30 pm

I will go to a creative meeting later this months with some other members of a Danish hobby- and needlework site I'm a member of. And one of my friends there will try to teach us how to make cards. I'm looking so much forward to try to see if I can find out how to do it. She's a very clever woman and she makes a lot of nice cards.

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You got it into yourself to be good at anything, you aim at. The fact is, that you must never give up. Accept what you are and be proud of it, be grateful for it. But never let it go to the head, always keep the feet on the ground. (From Bear Hearts wisdom). Add: Could have been Viggos, too!!!
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