Best OF OLD WORLD Vintage Antique Collectable DECOR


Your Cart is Empty

February 15, 2024

Though some people assume that Valentine’s Day is the creation of the modern greeting card industry, its history is much older — indeed, so old that its origins are clouded. Saint Valentine of Rome was added to the Catholic calendar by Pope Gelasius in 496, to be commemorated on February 14, the same day it still occupies. While there have been various theories of why St. Valentine became associated with love, it most likely developed during the late Middle Ages in the context of Anglo-French courtly love.

By the mid-17th century, the celebration of Valentine’s Day in England was customary for those who could afford its rituals. Affluent men drew lots with women’s names on them, and the man who picked a lady’s name was obliged to give her a gift. The earliest English, French and American valentines were little more than a few lines of verse handwritten on a sheet of paper, but over time, makers began embellishing them with drawings and paintings. These were folded, sealed with wax, and placed on their intended’s doorstep.

Then, the first commercial valentines appeared in England at the end of the 18th century. They were printed, engraved or made from woodcuts and sometimes colored by hand. They combined traditional symbols of love — flowers, hearts, cupids, birds — with doggerel verse of the “roses are red” variety. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards obliterated the handmade variety in England and the US. The French, too, began exploiting the commercial valentine, with cards featuring angel-like cupids surrounded by hearts (above, a French card, circa 1900).

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.



Welcome to the Loyalty Points Demo Store :-)

Sign up and receive 5000 pts to test out in our Store.

Earning and redeeming Reward Points

Earns you
Redeems to

Ways you can earn

  • Product Purchase
  • Refer a friend
  • Share on social media

Learn more about our program