Any time a collector finds another item to add to their collection it’s a moment to love. But adding antique and vintage Valentines into your collection can turn that moment into a true love-fest — and I don’t just mean for Valentines collectors either!
Because Valentine’s Day cards have come in so many designs and themes over the years, you are nearly certain to find cards that fit into your own collecting specialty. These wonderful cross-collectibles are a great way to add more charm, color, and interest to your collection. For example, this vintage die-cut Valentine would definitely “perk-up” a collection of vintage aluminum ware.
Vintage Valentine’s aren’t always flowery, romantic, girlie stuff either. Remember, little boys received as well as gave these old paper greeting cards out too, and so many of the designs are attempts, anyway, at more masculine images. This small vintage paper Valentine, about five inches long, features a watch — and all the appropriate puns of the “time”.
You can find Valentines that fit into virtually any area of collecting. There’s the expected Valentines, like this vintage mechanical Disney Valentine’s Day card. What could be more perfect for the Disneyana or animation collector, than an old mechanical card which animates Walt Disney characters?
There’s even the unexpected (or perhaps unwelcome) cards as well. If your collection is more historical than hysterical, say you collect Black Americana, there are vintage Valentines for you too — providing you have a cast iron stomach for the what-was-once-supposed-to-be-romantic-but-are-now-racist cards, like this one.
While collectors of Valentine’s Day cards (like collectors of other seasonal items) collect all year ’round, many sellers (online and in antique shops) make a special effort to list and display their holiday wares at holiday time. This makes finding holiday-themed collectibles easier during the related holiday season. But it’s not the only time to find them, so it shouldn’t be the only time you look for them. In fact, sometimes shopping for vintage and antique items is much like the regular stores, meaning there will be discounts or sales on vintage Valentine’s Day cards right after the holiday has passed. So if you’re reading this after Valentine’s Day, take heart! You can still find great vintage Valentines.
In terms of conditions, serious collectors look for bright graphics on unsigned cards which have no tears and no signs of glue or other markings from having been removed from a scrapbook. (It should be noted, however, that signed cards — especially those with curious or charming handwritten sentiments — are often considered highly desirable by certain ephemera collectors, such as myself.) But for those collectors looking to add Valentines to their other collections, pristine or perfect conditions are not as much of a concern and so cards can often be found quite inexpensively. And condition issues, such as handwriting and even tears, can be hidden well-enough when the vintage cards are framed. Framing them not only helps protect the fragile old paper pieces, but framed pieces are a lovely way to add more visual interest to your collection of objects as well. Not to mention, when they are on such prominent display it’s easier for others to see them and fall in love with them as well.