Christmas card : to Henry Cole / sent by John Callcott Horsley, "Xmasse 1843" thumbnail 1
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Christmas card : to Henry Cole / sent by John Callcott Horsley, "Xmasse 1843"

Christmas Card
[1843] (published)
Place of origin

1 card; 80 x 130 mm.

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read The first Christmas card The V&A has had a special interest in collecting and displaying greetings cards since it was established. Our founding director, Henry Cole, sent the first Christmas card in 1843. We now hold the national collection of cards for all occasions, with over 30,000 examples, more than half of w...

Object details

Object type
TitleChristmas card : to Henry Cole / sent by John Callcott Horsley, "Xmasse 1843"
Brief description
Hand-coloured lithograph, illustrating a feast scene and bearing the text, 'A merry Christmas and a Happy New Year', with spaces indicated for the names of sender and recipient.
Bears a manuscript greeting to Henry Cole, and an image of an artist, by way of signature.
John Callcott Horsley designed the Christmas card at the suggestion of Henry Cole (who used the name Felix Summerly for his manufacturing ventures). It was first printed in 1843. Commonly recognised as 'the first Christmas card'.
Physical description
1 card; 80 x 130 mm.
Production typeUnique
Hand-coloured lithograph.
Other numbers
  • MSL.3293-1987 - NAL accession number
  • KRP.C.94 - NAL Pressmark
Library number

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Record createdOctober 4, 2016
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