Virtual Advent Calendar – 1st December

In the lead-up to Christmas we are showcasing some of the festive items in our collection across our social networks. Behind the door of our virtual advent calendar today is…

The World’s First Christmas Card (1843)

Christmas card consisting of a lithograph on card with a rustic trellis dividing the card into three scenes.

An example of the first British Christmas card. The Christmas card was designed by John Callcott Horsley RA, from an idea by Sir Henry Cole (founding director of the Victoria and Albert Museum).The initial print run was for 1000 cards. The first edition of cards was lithographed and hand coloured by a professional colourer named Mason. Surplus cards from the original print run were sold under Henry Cole’s pseudonym of Felix Summerly for one shilling each. This card is one of these surpluses.


See larger images of all the items in our Virtual Advent Calendar on Flickr.

2 responses to “Virtual Advent Calendar – 1st December

  1. Pingback: Belloc of Balliol « Balliol Archives & Manuscripts

  2. Pingback: Kerstmiss kaarten: to send or not to send? « Expatriating Julia

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