World’s first printed Christmas card on present at Dickens museum in London

The world’s first printed Christmas card has gone on present on the Charles Dickens Museum in London, simply over a month earlier than the Royal Mail deadline for posting Christmas playing cards in Britain.

The cardboard was printed in 1843, the yr the Victorian writer revealed A Christmas Carol, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge whose depressing angle is reworked after being visited by the spirits of Christmas Previous, Current and But to Come.

Designed by Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley, the hand-coloured card reveals a household gathered round a desk having fun with a glass of wine with a message: A Merry Christmas And A Glad New 12 months To You. It was despatched from a son to his dad and mom. Of the 1,000 initially printed, 21 survived and one has been loaned to the museum by a e book supplier in San Francisco.

Cole’s unique proof can also be on mortgage. It was given as a present in 1865 and has a pencilled be aware to the recipient within the backside right-hand nook.

Dickens and Cole labored on the similar time, unknown to one another, shaping what would grow to be widespread traditions.

“This was a very necessary yr for the event of the trendy Christmas. The Christmas card is such a giant a part of our Christmases at this time. And A Christmas Carol is such a major story that we see yearly at Christmas time,” mentioned museum curator Louisa Value.

Cole was instrumental in organising the Penny Submit in 1840 and imagining the primary Christmas card which offered for a shilling (12 pence). As we speak billions of Christmas playing cards make their manner around the globe.

Dickens realised industrialisation meant there was a marketplace for books as Christmas presents. Simon Eliot, co-curator on the museum and specialist in 19th century books, mentioned: “He was in a position to focus consideration on Christmas and provides it a kind of identification and verve which it had lacked.”

The exhibition – Lovely Books: Dickens And The Enterprise of Christmas – runs on the novelist’s former London residence, now a museum, till April 19. – Reuters

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