Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I love Valentine's Day!
I always have.
I started collecting antique and vintage valentines several years ago. I must say though, it is not easy to find great or unusual valentine collectibles. Since the day's tokens are mainly flowers (which don't last), and chocolates or candies (which have been eaten), for the most part, only the paper cards and old candy boxes remain.
There are cupid figurines and heart-shaped planters or vases, but nice ones are few and far between.
This explains why my collection is not very large at this point! The thrill of the hunt keeps me looking.
There are a million valentine postcards and cards to be had. Each one sweeter than the next.
Once you start looking at them, you just fall in love!
Last year I found this Japanese toy celluloid couple with bobble heads filled with magnets. When they get close to each other they kiss. Look at her face. She looks so disinterested. She never sees it coming!
Smoochy smoochy! He's a little stinker.... you can just see it in his eyes.
I am so drawn to the faces on old Valentine's Day cards. They are cherub-like and sweet. It's interesting to see how the style of artwork has changed through the years. The colors and illustrations used to be so much more detailed on the older cards. They were embossed and embellished with machine cutwork and some had 3-D tissue paper pop-outs. Valentines from the 50's and later have more simplified cartoon-like illustrations with flat colors and outlines. I must say, I prefer the older ones --- so much more charm.
You can see where Mary Engelbreit got her inspiration and style when you look at a lot of the valentine art from the 20's and 30's. (See grouping on left below.)
Had to have this postcard on the right above. They are both wearing PLAID!
In my collection, I especially love the wooden heart (shown at the top), though poorly painted and crudely cut, the heart frames a small black and white photo of two little girls, maybe sisters? Hand-painted on the back is the name "Helen." So sweet this token of love.
Stop by our booth at Anna's in Highwood soon. Starting on February 1st, we'll have some vintage Valentine items to get you started on your own collection. Hope to see you there soon!
"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. ... the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." - Author Unknown