Seeing as it is only a couple of weeks until Christmas, I figured that the Object of the Month for December should reflect that spirit so I have chosen the Christmas card scrapbook from our collection.
This scrapbook contains most of the Christmas cards that were sent to the Beale family at Standen. They date from the Late Victorian Era to the 1930s—so some cards are over 100 years old. These cards came from friends, family and acquaintances and were all stored in here.
This book was bequeathed to us in 2011 by a granddaughter, Phyllis Wager, of James and Margaret Beale.
Christmas cards, like many new ideas, took a while to catch on but in the 1870s and 1880s became more and more popular, boosted by cheaper rates for sending them by post.
By the 1880s, well known artists, like Kate Greenaway, were commissioned by manufactures to design cards. However, these cards were deemed too expensive for most, so cheaper cards were mass produced and designs were adapted from Valentines cards and soon became enormously popular.
Popular designs included holly, ivy and religious scenes. However, in the latter part of the 1800s, designs soon started to include spring flowers, nudes, birds, animals and insects.
Merry Christmas :)