When I celebrate Valentine's Day, I enjoy sending and receiving vintage cards and also using vintage elements in my home that capture the spirit of love.
I have long admired and been inspired by how my mother has incorporated antique items featuring cupids, roses, and hearts around the house this time of year.
Some of my personal favorites include her collection of heart-shaped Limoges boxes, silver boxes, perfume bottles with heart stoppers, and red Czech glass that have brightened the Gaffney residence for generations. Similar styles are available to collectors at flea markets and antique stores and their petite size makes them ideal table accessories or an inspired way to style your bedroom bureau, even after this time of year has passed.
Sending and collecting vintage and antique Valentine's Day cards and other ephemera to loved ones also adds a special touch.
In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland, known as the "mother of the valentine" began selling the first mass-produced valentines in the United States. Elaborate valentine's cards from the Victorian era sell in the $25-$100 range, depending on how unusual they are, while cards from the 1930s through the ‘50s can be found for $5 or less. This price point makes them just as accessible as new cards, but with a rich history and often beautiful and intricate designs that you would not find in newer cards.
Many modern valentines have been made in vintage styles over the years. Most of these look new when compared to older paper goods, and some are even dated. Shop cautiously if you are just starting a collection. Do something special to make your Valentine’s Day memorable and delightful for all!