To take away the nasty taste of the Vinegar Valentines, here’s something a little sweeter!
Advice from a greetings card, probably 1870s.
The collection of greetings cards at BMAG includes a sample album marked ‘Comic Vals’, owned by a Victorian cardseller and probably dating from the 1870s. Most of the samples in the album are ‘Vinegar Valentines’: insulting cards mocking the recipient’s appearance, profession or behaviour and predicting a loveless future.
Whether received from an embittered ex or a cruel practical joker, it would have been a nasty surprise to open any of these on Valentine’s day.
This card lulls the unfortunate recipient into a false sense of security with a pretty and sentimental cover, but when it’s opened there’s a sting in the tail:
Find out more about the history of Vinegar Valentines in this article from Brighton Royal Pavilion & Museums.