World's oldest Christmas card goes on sale in Devizes
2:45pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in Latest News
One of the world's first Christmas cards, sent in 1843, is expected to fetch up to £5,000 at auction in Devizes.
The black and white greeting card depicts a jolly Christmas scene of a Victorian family eating and drinking.
The card was one of about 2,000 printed in colour and black and white.
The coloured version sold for 1/2d (6p) and the rarer uncoloured version was 1/- (5p).
It was addressed to Marinda Cundy of London. The sender is unknown apart from the initials JCJ.
Miss Cundy never had any children but the card was given to her great niece and it has been passed down the family ever since.
The item is to be sold by Henry Aldridge & Son with a pre-sale estimate of between£3,000 and £5,000.
The card was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant who played a key role in launching the Penny Post, and designed by his friend John C Horsley, a well-known artist who also painted portraits of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.
Andrew Aldridg said: "Dating from 1843 this extremely rare pictorial lithograph depicts a Victorian family eating and being merry at Christmas with two outer panels depicting Christmas spirit.
"This example ... was sent to a Marinda Cundy and has remained in the family since 1843.
"A letter of provenance is included with the Christmas card. This remarkable piece of history can be regarded as the genesis of the present-day Christmas card industry."
The card is being sold on December 14.
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