AKIPRESS.COM - The world’s first printed Christmas card, an artwork created in 1843 that went on to spawn a global industry, has gone on show at the Charles Dickens Museum in London, Guardian reports.
Designed by Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley, in the same year that Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was published, the hand-coloured card shows a family gathered around a table enjoying a glass of wine with a message: “A merry Christmas and a happy new year to you.”
It was sent by a son to his parents. Of the 1,000 originally printed, 21 survived and one has been lent to the museum by a book dealer in San Francisco.
Cole’s original proof is also on loan. It was given as a gift in 1865 and has a pencilled note to the recipient in the bottom right-hand corner.
Dickens and Cole worked at the same time, unknown to each other, shaping what would become popular traditions.
Museum curator Louisa Price said: “This was a really important year for the development of the modern Christmas. The Christmas card is such a big part of our Christmases today. And A Christmas Carol is such a significant story that we see every year at Christmas time.”
Today, billions of Christmas cards make their way around the world.