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Christmas cards to enjoy Christmas time!

Europeana Fashion presents December’s Tumblr Curation by Rossimoda shoe museum with a huge collection of Christmas Cards.

Since the middle age the habit to send greeting cards to the acquaintances has been quite common. In China people used to write them by hand on rice paper, and the cards were as bigger as great was the person they were addressed. In the Christian world, instead, upper classes people started around 1400 to send greeting cards, writing them by hand, until 1700, when they were replaced by printed cards.

Christmas postcard. Paper. 1910, Great Britain. Courtesy of MoMu

With the invention of litography, in 1976 by the Austrian writer Aloys Senefelder, undreds of cards were introduced on the international market for a huge distribution. In 1840, when the first postage was printed, sending cards for holidays became a custom. The first official greeting card was realized in 1843 by the English painter John Calcott Horsley. At that time just upper classes could buy them, but the lower classes soon developed the way to realize them at home.

Christmas card representing a boy and a girl on a shoe-shaped sleigh, France, 1919. Courtesy of Museo Rossimoda della Calzatura, all rights reserved.

In 1860 Louis Prang, a German immigrant, opened a lithography laboratory in Boston, popularizing greeting cards in North America. In 1885 he had the idea to draw Santa Claus with a red dress on cards, finding a great success through the public and making it the official dress of Santa. After the 1950 greeting cards overflowed North America and Europe and people started to use them to celebrate any occasion, as births, birthdays, easter, weddings. Some multinational market as Hallmark quickly understood the profits they can take from a mass trade of greeting cards and built real empire, producing a great variety of new and original cards, for everybody.

Follow Rossimoda Shoe Museum’s December curation on Europeana Fashion Tumblr and enjoy other Postcards from our Archive on Europeana Fashion Portal!

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