An unused St. Valentine’s Day card

An unused St. Valentine’s Day card

New York: Thomas W. Strong, circa 1850. Unbound. This four-page, hand-colored valentine measures 3.75” x 6”. It is printed on the front cover only. The other three pages are blank. Very good. Item #009174

Thomas Strong was one of the major valentine dealers in New York City. He sold “valentine writers” (inexpensive pamphlets filled with a variety of romantic, serious, and funny poems and aphorisms that lovers could use to create their own cards) at a wide range of prices. Strong also sold stationery, business forms, fancy papers, other writing materials, and imported valentines from England.

Although he considered himself an engraver, he began to publish his own valentines, like this one, using simple lithography and hand-tinting. Strong wholesaled his valentines in bulk to other New York and New Jersey stationers as well.

This card features an illustration, colored in red and green, of a young man playing a guitar and serenading his sweetheart and includes the following verse, probably lifted from a valentine writer: "My song is mute, the strain / Which melodized each line, / My sentiments convey / To thee my Valentine." The imprint “Strong New York” is centered in the lower margin.

Price: $75.00

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