Weird Victorian Christmas Cards

Victorians had some odd habits, one of which was to send each other Christmas cards which were, to put it mildly, a little weird.

Because I collect vintage ephemera, as well as sell it and use it to make reproduction items, I’ve long been fond of cataloging some of the odder Victorian cards. Many use animals in anthropomorphic poses doing unexpected things.

Some I’ve purchased, some just done screen shots of, because they can be hideously expensive, and I can only justify spending so much on a 100+ year old piece of paper, no matter how fantastic and bizarre.

I’ve made the ones I’ve purchased into repro items in my Etsy shop, but thought I’d post a gallery of some of those which have tickled my fancy the most.

This is one of my favorites, The Kindly Robin, which shows a prosperous bird family donating to some downtrodden beggar birds:
wm-kindly-robin-1a
Another of my favorites is The Dancing Owls with their frog footman, carrying a roast mouse for their holiday feast: WMNew Year Owls 200

Then there’s The Owl and the Pussycat, in a more morbid twist of that phrase:
wm-mousies-3

And these three Fish Eating Dinner:
wm-three-fish-1bg

Victorians had a particular passion for plum pudding, as in The Jesters card shows:
wm-here-we-are-1a

And this great card showing the Robin Cook and the Plum Pudding:
wm-pudding-1c
Now here are some really odd ones (which I did not purchase and which I have not retouched or cleaned up in any way), a gallery for your amusement:

A bee wearing an apron and a bizarre flower with a big nose:
bee-flower-1

A fish who’s been fishing.
fish-card-1

A blind man about to be run down by a runaway horse in the road:
blind-man-horse

Ducks ice skating:
ducks-1a

Stingray fishermen. What more is there to say?
stingray-fishermen

And there’s a whole subset of these cards devoted to insects. Here are a few:

red-bugs

snail-bugs

fairy-queens-messenger

And best of all, insects dancing with a frog. Gotta love it!
frog-and-bugs

I hope these odd beauties have given you pleasure, enjoy the holiday season!