230-Year-Old Valentine's Card Sold In Derbyshire

14 February 2019, 15:14 | Updated: 14 February 2019, 15:16


One of the world's oldest surviving Valentine's cards has been auctioned for more than £7,000 in Derbyshire.

Auction house Hansons said the approximately 230-year-old card - dating back to around 1790 - smashed its estimate of £200-£300.

The card sold on Valentine's Day morning after a battle between two phone bidders and would-be online buyers from Europe and America, going for £5,800.

With buyer's premium and VAT, the total price paid will be £7,192.

Hansons said the unusual lot was bought by Jakki Brown, from London, who had fallen in love with its historical significance.

The 54-year-old, editor and co-owner of London's Progressive Greetings, a trade magazine for the card industry, said: "I'm so happy. I was convinced I would be outbid. I was so nervous about the sale, I hardly slept the night before.

"I've bought this because I really believe in the art of card sending and to buy this on Valentine's Day makes it extra special.

"For me, this Valentine is a wonderful example of an enduring British tradition. I will never sell it."

Experts at Hansons, based in Etwall, said the card - bearing a drawing of hearts and a dove carrying a sealed envelope - was in keeping with the types of message sent during the Jane Austen era.

A handwritten verse inside the card is thought to have been sent to a woman named Ann, who was living in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in the late 18th century.

The lot was part of a collection which belonged to Lawrence Randle, a keen philatelist and card collector who died at the age of 88 in 2009.