Illustration from The Illustrated London News, 14 February 1874, depicting the printing premises of George Meek and the workshop of Eugene Rimmel. More at www.ouls.ox.ac.uk/bodley/about/exhibitions
This single-sheet valentine writer offers tongue-tied lovers (or mischief-makers) a choice of ready-written verses, both love-struck and comic, to send to a beloved (or to an unlucky victim). Published by J. Catnach, London, 1833
Hand-coloured valentine, c. 1840s, in the form of a rebus or word puzzle; the pictograms must be deciphered to un¬lock its expressions of adoration
Novelty inspired by the divorce proceedings between King George IV and Queen Caroline. On one side, lovers gaily ascend the rungs of love to ‘Solemnization’; on the other, they descend into bitter ‘Separation’. Published by W. Darton, London, 1819
Uncut scrap sheet, showing women’s hands holding posies and various amorous mottoes. Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd, London, c. 1870–1900
Woodcut valentine, c. 1840s, crudely coloured, depicting a gardener picking a red rose for his beloved. Printed on cheap, plain paper, it would have been priced at the lower end of the market
Lace-paper valentine with hand-painted satin, scraps, feathers and tinselling. Embossed by Dobbs, Bailey & Co. Watermarked and postmarked 1845, addressed to Miss Powys
Stencil-coloured woodcut published by A. Park, c. 1835–40. Comic valentine of an ugly spinster, and verse sniping: ‘If the devil step’d, old lady, from his regions just below, He couldn’t find a picture like the one before me now'
Chromolithographed display card for the valentine-maker Jonathan King, London, c. 1870s
What are these?