Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Valentine - May our affections ripen into joy, And disappointments ne'er our hopes destroy
  • May our affections ripen into joy, And disappointments ne'er our hopes destroy
  • Enlarge image

May our affections ripen into joy, And disappointments ne'er our hopes destroy

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain, Uk (made)

  • Date:

    c.1860 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    hand-coloured wood engraving

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Guy Tristram Little

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 190

With the advent of the Penny Post the valentine card business flourished. In the 1840s it was possible to buy expensive cut-lace and embossed cards, or cheaper folded sheets with simple wood engraved imagery, often roughly coloured with stencils. Amongst the cheaper cards, comic valentines were particularly popular, often echoing the cruel satirical humour of the Cruikshank brothers who had produced some of the earliest comic valentines in the 1820s. Generally the wood engravers remain anonymous but the cards provided much work both in London and other large towns.

Physical description

Valentine, showing a man and a woman in an embrace, the man in a cutaway coat with waistcoat and long trousers, long sideburns and curled hair, the woman in a pink satin dress with flared sleeves.

Place of Origin

Great Britain, Uk (made)


c.1860 (made)


Unknown (artist)

Materials and Techniques

hand-coloured wood engraving

Descriptive line

Valentine by unknown artist; 'May our affections ripen into joy...'; c.1860; wood engraving, coloured by hand

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1953 London: HMSO, 1963
The full text of the entry is as follows:

"ANONYMOUS :Cards : Greeting
Valentines (220). American, English and French, c.1840-c.1880.
Colour lithographs, paper-lace, fabric appliqué, water-colour etc.
Various sizes
E.1946, 1969, 2041-2190, 2250-2213, 2213A, 2214-2250, 2252-2259, 2261, 2266-2268, 2271, 2272, 2307, 2318-2320, 2343, 2345, 2420-1953

Bequeathed by Guy Tristram Little"


Watercolour; Printing ink; Card


Hand-colouring; Wood engraving


Romance; Greeting cards; Prints; Men's clothes; Women's clothes; Hair and hairstyles

Collection code


Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.