Valentine Collecting Has Always Been a Part of Our Hobby

Valentine’s Day is a holiday for which no long historical tradition exists. There were several St Valentines as part of the pantheon of Catholic martyrs and saints but none of them had any association to romantic love. Scholars looking for antecedents to the holiday can trace it back to a poem of Geoffrey Chaucer in the late 1300’s but really the celebration of Valentine’s Day seems to have begun in earnest about the same time as the early post made the sending of Valentine’s cards easy. In this sense the holiday was a technologically driven occasion where friends and distant lovers could keep in touch on this day by exchanging cards. And throughout the Nineteenth century Valentine cards became more and more ornate and flowery, imitating a rococo style that eventually made them so heavy and fragile that the cards were nearly impossible to send. It was the post’s ability to connect people that started the Valentine tradition. And the early ornate Valentines are very collectible and have always been collected by philatelists. Candy and candlelight dinners came later and though it is a bit beyond the scope of this blog, don’t forget to get the person you love a card if you have forgotten to do so.

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