Throwback Thursday: Christmas Cards!

On Monday evening, Mr DB and I wrapped up in hats and scarves and went on a walk amid the village’s twinkling Christmas lights to post handmade cards to our family and friends. But when and where did this festive tradition originate?

The custom of sending Christmas cards was begun in Victorian Britain (1843) when Sir Henry Cole commissioned John Callcott Horsley to illustrate a Christmas scene which could be sent as a card using the new ‘Public Post Office’. However, the cards were priced at one shilling each and were therefore too expensive for the average Victorian. Despite the first batches of ‘elitist’ cards, the sentiment caught on and soon many children (including those in the Royal family) were encouraged to create their own. Over the next few years advances in printing technology led to  cheaper card production. Combined with the introduction of halfpenny postage, the Christmas card industry took off. Sending Christmas cards had grown so significantly in popularity that by 1880, 11.5 million cards were produced in just one year. The custom of sending Christmas cards was well and truly integrated into festive tradition.

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Sir Henry Cole & John Callcott Horsley’s design for the first commercial Christmas Card.

Over the years, so many beautiful Christmas card designs have emerged and luckily for us, people have documented them online. Therefore I thought I’d share a few with you which have caught my eye and could be used as inspiration for an array of amazing sews long in the future. (All images have been sourced on Pinterest.)

How about these adorable little sleep suits? These always remind me of The Night Before Christmas from Disney’s Silly Symphonies (1933) which I would watch every year at my grandparent’s house.
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These festive dresses are beautiful and classic and would look amazing in any era in front of a Christmas tree!

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Finally, you all know from my previous post just how much I love cosy vintage coats for girls, so here’s a few card designs for those of you who feel the same…

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And there you have it! Which is your favourite of the designs? I’m struggling to pick one, but I think I’ll have to go with the red-check, dropped waist dress. I love it paired with that big red bow! If you liked this little glimpse into Christmas past, and enjoyed this vintage and festive-filled post, I’d love to hear from you- just leave a comment below or over on the Dobbin’s Bobbins Facebook or Instagram accounts!

 

 

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