Monday we started out on the Victorian end of my mom’s vintage Valentines collection, but today we’ll be looking at some fun ones from the 1930s and 40s. Many of these were actually given to my grandmother while in school—we discovered she had saved them all these years.
So, things obviously changed quite a bit between 1900 and 1936. Style and culture changes resulted in Valentines that look more like they’re for children. They’re almost exclusively cartoon-like and laden with corny puns.
I always find the presentation and personification of animals interesting. We saw this when we looked at graphics on candy containers in our Easter Extravaganza post last year. In Victorian art, even if personified, animals are very realistically drawn. As we move into the 20th century, animals become caricaturized.
They even tried making WWII cute. In this card dated 1943, we see a cute little girl from cupid’s draft board with some sort of love barracks in the distance.
I found a lot of cards with some sort of action created by sliding or rotating a part of the card. Note the solidly creepy old toothless man whose jaw and eyes bug out when you slide the little heart to the upper right. The only thing its missing is a loud aaa-ooo-gah!
But I saved the best for last.
When you move the heart behind her, her hand moves up and down in a stabbing fashion and her eyes follow. She’s supposed to be sewing on the patch—but everything about this scene suggests a more interesting subtext.