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Friday, January 24, 2014

Vintage Valentines & Vittles II

Before I begin today's post, I feel an explanation is due. This past Wordless Wednesday, I posted two images that some of you may have found offensive or at the very least not very humorous. I must admit, I did hesitate before posting them and even considered not posting them at all. However, after a bit of consideration and a brief consultation with Marion, I went for it!
I have since done a bit of research as to approximately when those images may have been produced. Many of you thought they were Valentines. Believe it or not, it never occurred to me that they may be Valentines but indeed they were. In fact, they are referred to as "Comic Valentines" and apparently were quite popular in the early 19th century. I must admit, I didn't find them very funny but I have been "accused" of not having much of a sense of humor:) When I showed them to Marion, she thought they were rather humorous so I thought some of you would enjoy them.
One of the best resources I came across in my travels comes from the Library of Birmingham located in the UK. If you are interested in learning more about Comic Valentines or would like to see the various types, I have left additional resources at the end of this post.

Comic Valentines became hugely popular in the mid 19th century and yet they are almost unheard of today. In complete contrast to the romantic Valentine proclaiming feelings of admiration and love, the comic Valentine was sent purely to mock and insult.
In the early 1800s, publishers in Britain were producing verses in Valentine Writers to be used in caricatures, the earliest form of comic Valentines. By the 1840s, comic Valentines were more popular than ever, being mass-produced and sent in their thousands to unwitting recipients.  Their popularity could be in part due to their affordability both to buy and to send. In contrast to the expensive, elaborately decorated, sentimental Valentine, comics were cheaply made and printed on a single sheet of thin paper.
Men would often send comic Valentines to other male friends, lampooning their chosen trade or mocking their characteristics, cruelly pointing out the reason why they had so far failed to secure a love match. Some examples of comic Valentines are quite shocking in their blatant attempt to humiliate and scorn; any intended humour is all but lost.
By the late 1800s, Britain's love affair with comic Valentines was all but over.  Regarded as venomous and vulgar, such caustic missives offended delicate, Victorian sensiblities and sales were boycotted.
Following the late Victorians' demand for a return of public decency and decorum, Valentine's day and its traditions generally fell out of favour. It was only to regain popularity some years later with the outbreak of World War I, with parted lovers sending cards and messages across the sea.
Comic Valentines are increasingly difficult for collectors to find today. Due to their very nature, the recipient was unlikely to regard such an item as a treasured possession and so it was destroyed.




Valentines & Vittles

Vintage Valentine
Taste of Home's Holiday Celebrations Cookbook ©2002
Butterfluff Rolls | Taste Of Home Celebrations Cookbook 2002
In the first "installment" of Valentines and Vittles, I not only shared a scanned recipe for Flaming Chicken, I also left you with a romantic cliff hanger, as Tina so lovingly put it:) If you missed that post, you can find it here.
Retro Valentines
Taste of Home's Holiday Celebrations Cookbook ©2002
Antipasto Platter | Taste of Home Celebrations Cookbook 2002
My husband never questioned my answer. He simply replied "I'm here when you're ready." I didn't offer an explanation. However, my sister did. She sat him down one day and explained how I had been abandoned by my first husband and left with two babies to raise. She also told him of my fierce independence and how I had lost my faith in fairy tales and knights in shining armor. On my birthday, that same year, he bought me an engagement ring. Again, I said No...(continue)
Resources
1. The John A. McAllister Collection of Printed Ephemera-Comic Valentines
2. Comic Valentine Website



43 comments:

  1. Dear Louise, As you know, I love vintage. I think I recognize those cards! lol
    I love the recipe for the rolls and there really is nothing like a good antipasto to nibble on with family and friends. Blessing dear. Catherine xo

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    1. I haven't had a real good anitpasto in years, Catherine. I'm on a mission to remedy that, soon!

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  2. So cute! Those buns look mighty delicious. It is something I have to make very soon...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. I thought those buns were just too cute, Rosa. Let me know when you make them, I've been looking for an "excuse" to fly to Switzerland!

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  3. oh you are a tease with your cliffhangers - sounds like you have an an interesting life - enjoy hearing a bit about it but sorry to hear about your first husband leaving you in the lurch. And I am a bit sad that we don't have comic valentines any more - I suspect some of them would be more my thing than a lot of today's soppy valentines

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    1. I don't really mean to be teasing, Johanna. I'm really trying to get in as many cute Valentines as I can, lol...I have quite a few of those Comic Valentines. Those two were the more "gentle" of the lot!

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  4. I thought Wednesday's images were valentines! That history was really fascinating. I think some of the kids' valentines in packages back in the day were a little offensive, but didn't go as far as yours. I wonder if anyone has a bigger collection.

    Today's recipes sound like the best you have posted recently. The salad would still be popular at lots of gatherings!

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    1. You were right Mae. I have about 10 of them. One looks to be very old! So glad you liked today's recipe. I am so ready for that Antipasto! (with a side of Italian bread for dunking, of course:)

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  5. Love that roll recipe. I just may have to give it a try! Talk about a cliffhanger!

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    1. Aren't they so cute, Nellie. I bet they are yummy too:)

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  6. As Johanna said, you're definitely a tease! Are you going to stretch this out until Valentine's Day itself? ;-) Fun post -- thanks.

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    1. Yes, John, the "story" will continue until Valentine's Day but next week's "edition" will not be as much of a teaser:)

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  7. I thought they were Valentines too...a bit snarky, but Valentines nonetheless. I imagine they are very hard to find and in today's PC world, nonexistant. Must confess I would NOT have been pleased to receive the weighty one above, but then I take my weight and constant dieting to maintain it personally. :) And anyone who wants to be my Valentine would know it.
    Can't wait to read the next romantic episode!

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    1. I was surprised to do a quick look on ebay to find that there are quite a few for sale, Barbara. Doesn't look like they sell for very much but I'm thinking not many people are aware of their existence. I know I wasn't!

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  8. Mmm.. delicious recipes on your blog today! I love those rolls and that antipasto looks heavenly good! I want to make them both! Have a fab weekend Louise!

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    1. The rolls are for dunking in the antipasto, Alida...Mmmm....Yum!

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  9. I'm stopping by with a tiny bit of free time for the first time in nearly 2 weeks! Your cliffhanger made me smile. And I would love those rolls; I wish someone would come make them for me!

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    1. Oh Marjie! I have been trying to email you but my email is on the "blink" again. I've been trying to fix it. I'm just going to go on the other computer and email you. I wish I could send you some rolls too:) Better yet, I wish I could come up there and bake some for you! (yeastaphobia and all:)

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  10. Hi Louise , love the valentines , just so cute , the Butter fluff rolls are just awesome , they looks so fluffy and buttery , can almost taste them . I love your cliff hanger and know the best is yet to come . The antipasto platter is delicious and I love all the ingredients , Stay warm and thanks for sharing :)

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the recipes and the cliff hanger, Nee. Yes, the best is yet to come:)

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  11. Louise, I just love all those vintage valentines. They make me smile! Nice post!

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    1. Delighted to make you smile, Kathy:)

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  12. Now I am curious, give me a cliffhanger my friend and I am hooked :P
    Great post!

    Cheers
    CCU

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  13. Dear Louise, What an interesting post on Vintage Comic Valentine cards. Your research has given me some information that I never knew. The recipes look very yummy, especially the Anitpasto. In my family we used to have this every Sunday before our large Italian meal. My dad would always put it together. A wonderful memory. Also, the Butterfluff Rolls are a perfect addition to the Antipasto platter, you have to have a piece of bread or roll to soak up the oil from the dressing. I can't wait till the next instalment of your "Love Story." Thanks again for sharing everything...Have a blessed weekend...Dottie :)

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    1. I haven't had Antipasto is so very long. I really have been craving it, Dottie. I love dunking in the oil!

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  14. Love those vintage post cards and wish I could have some of those butter rolls!

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  15. William Shakespeare
    Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
    And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

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  16. I love vintage stuff especially those classic designer handbags! Really looking fwd to V-Day!

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    1. I have a few of those, Shirley. Some of them are way cool:)

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  17. Rolls and antipasto? What's not to love?!

    Can't wait for the next installment!

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  18. The rolls look terrific! And the romantic cliffhanger??? I'm ready for Part 3!

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  19. I knew they were valentines, but I had no idea about comic valentines meant to mock!

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  20. Hi Louise,
    An interesting post! I almost forgot about Valentine! Too busy making lots of cookies and other stuffs for the coming Chinese New Year and have been lacking my visits to my blog friends!
    Just seen your message over at my blog, and yes, you may use any of my cookie post. In fact, I have just posted one today, a traditional cookie which you may find interesting!
    Thanks, Louise!

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    1. You have been baking up a storm Joyce. I can't begin to pick my favorite cookie recipe, lol...Don't you worry about it, enjoy the festivities!!! Thank you so much for sharing your link:)

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  21. I think that there are numerous iconic images from our past that people find offensive. I don't see anything but humor here however. Great post (as always) with lots of information!

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    1. I understand it, Debra. I feel it is necessary to look to the past for the good of the future...

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  22. hi louise, bit late as i've been quite busy lately..hope you are good. there you go again...your love story i mean...haha...i shall patiently wait for the rest of the story..i'm going to chk out that image on wordless wed now :)

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise