Learn about Christmas Cards

With the establishment of the public postal service in 1840, the first 'Penny Post' postal deliveries began. Before that, only the very wealthy could afford to send articles by post. The new Post Office was able to offer a Penny stamp because new railways that could carry larger quantities of freight, were being built.

Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant was very interested in the new public postal service, and he is credited with originating the idea of Christmas cards in order to make use of the new postal service.

Cards could be mailed for half a penny, half the price of an ordinary letter, and as printing methods improved they were produced in large numbers from 1860.

The idea spread gradually to other countries and, by 1890, the volume of Christmas cards had reached such proportions that postal administrations had to make special arrangements for the handling of such mail.

The first cards usually had pictures of the Nativity scene on them. In late Victorian times, robins and snow-scenes became popular. more...
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Signed Thea Proctor Xmas card & 12 H George works. Ballerinas & other dancers. Thea Proctor Christmas card to Mr & Mrs Robert Campbell. Pencil & watercolour (12). 10 x 7.7 cm (each)

C1900 pop-up Christmas card, 'Wishing You a Joyful Christmas', very attractive and scarce, with pop-up batsman, wickets, wicket-keeper & slips fielder. G/VG condition.

Pro Hart (1928-2006, Australian artist): Group with c1967-78 leters (6) signed 'Pro'; signed Christmas Cards (2); also 1976 Exhibition brochure & press clippings. (10 items)

Two New Zealand late 19th century Christmas cards by Willis, Wanganui, with lithographic prints, one of Rangitoto, Auckland, the other of a karaka specimen. Both in gilt frames. Images height 11 cm width 14 cm

Christmas cards from the Attorney-General, 1910 & 1911, minor faults but very scarce. (2)