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With the Holiday season soon approaching, here is a question for all you collectors out there . . . Who gets credit for the first ever Christmas card ever sent via mail? If you said Sir Henry Cole, consider yourself the winner. Sir Henry Cole decided he was too busy to write all his friends and family separately to wish them Holiday greetings, so he commissioned John Calcott Horsley to illustrate some cards for him. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole sent out 1000 greeting cards and thus a tradition was born.
Cole’s Christmas card was about 3.25” x 5.12” in size and depicted a family enjoying their Holiday meal and toasting their absent friends. Last year one of the original Christmas cards that Cole commissioned and Mr. Horsley illustrated was sold at auction for about $38,000. Other antique and vintage cards are selling for more affordable prices. The Victorian era Christmas card depicting Jolly Old Saint Nick, recently sold on eBay for about $37.