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Henry Cole & John Calcott Horsley.
Henry Cole & John Calcott Horsley.
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU or, if the UK has withdrawn from the EU without an agreed transition deal, from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Henry Cole & John Calcott Horsley.

THE FIRST CHRISTMAS CARD, 1843.

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Henry Cole & John Calcott Horsley. The first Christmas card, 1843. [CHRISTMAS] – ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.’ London: Published at [Felix] Summerly's Home Treasury Office [by Joseph Cundall, for Henry Cole, December 1843]. First printing of the first commercial Christmas greetings card, published in the same month as Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, together with a signed proof printed in red. Commissioned by Henry Cole and designed by John Calcott Horsley, the hand-coloured central panel shows a family toasting the health of an absent friend – the addressee – with all holding glasses except for the three smallest children who are tasting plum pudding, and is flanked by images of charitable acts. The idea of the card proved popular, but it was not immediately reprinted due to criticism by the Temperance League. Other cards were designed and printed from November 1844 onward, but the Horsley-Cole card remains the earliest in the long continuing tradition. This rare card is believed to survive in just 21 copies (in varying condition), and is inscribed by the sender to ‘My very dear Father & Mother’ and signed ‘Their loving son, Joe’. The proof, believed to survive in just 5 copies, is signed by Henry Cole in 1865 to Mr. and Mrs. George Wallis and family. See Buday, History of the Christmas Card (London, 1954). Hand-coloured lithographed card (82 x 130mm) and proof printed in red (119 x 163mm). (Some minor soiling). Mounted and housed together in a linen album within a linen folding box.
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU or, if the UK has withdrawn from the EU without an agreed transition deal, from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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