Among the many family belongings I am still sorting through are stacks of greetings cards from the early 1950s to the early noughties.
I thought I’d share some of those from the 60s/70s in random order across two posts.
Is this charming or merely kitsch?
It straightaway reminds me of the highly sentimental portraits of children lining the walls of department stores in the 70s (Woolworths, Boots, Timothy Whites).
Those shop waifs and strays invariably possessed doe eyes crying tears of dubious size down dimpled cheeks. But this cheerful twosome have something of Bill and Penelope about them.
The Woolworths associations apply even more strongly to this portrait of cute, moral uprightness from the mid-late 60s probably aimed at doting grandparents:
The prayerful pose would probably never find its way onto cards in our far more secular age, at least not outside of cathedral bookshops. This isn’t how we want children to be any more.
I’m surprised that this Wedding Anniversary card dates from as late as 1966:
It could easily be from at least a decade earlier. I imagine the vase carefully positioned in a palatial hallway by a butler’s begloved hands.
My collection is stuffed with variations on these rather stiff bouquets in as assortment of urns and classical vases. They strike me as emblems of prestige though not of material aspiration, representing a kind of official good taste. But they are also dull and respectable, joyless even.
In an age of care bears and other fluff, it’s the adult seriousness of this card which dates it most.
This has 1960s stamped all over it:
The chequered brown, yellow and green background adds a modernist touch though the card belongs squarely next to a gilt carriage clock on a tiled mantelpiece. When I look at this, I hear Frank Chacksfield, Royal Daffodil or perhaps Jim Reeves.
A card which inspired a dozen These You Have Loved LP covers. Or was it the other way round?
To be given accompanying a large box of assorted milk chocolates. The surprisingly underplayed message is rather endearing and all the more effective for that.
An Englishman’s home is his castle.
It’s 1969 and here we have a reassuring image of sturdy masculinity in the making:
Background props are crucial; the bookcase implies inculcating a love of learning but the fireplace spreads parental warmth.
More choice selections in two weeks time.