Swan Card 1993.018.033
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Grey Roots

An 1888 New Year’s Card, and a 1908 Christmas Present Tag

Grey Roots

When I think of Christmas, certain items in the collection at Grey Roots come to my mind.    There is a nice batch of Victorian chromolithographed Christmas cards and New Year’s Cards, with colourful silk fringes, and a padded, thick appearance.  In years past, I used to love to place these, as well as the early 20th-century Christmas cards, on temporary exhibit in December.  They were mass-produced items intended to be lovingly kept as keepsakes.  One fringeless-style New Year’s card (11 m x 14.3 cm) is dated 1888.  It was kept by a lady who resided in the Bognor area of Sydenham Township, Grey County.  It has an illustration of two swans on it.  No one that I know nowadays sends New Year’s cards out.  Long ago, however, celebrating New Year’s would be something that our Scottish settlers (and descendants) would hearken to.  It also acted as a Christmas card, as “With love & best wishes / from Kate / Xmas / 88” is penned in ink on the reverse.

The Robert and Ethel Frizzell family at Bognor (in the former Sydenham Twp.) also kept some early 20th-century die-cut and lithographed Christmas cards and present tags that were printed in England by the Raphael Tuck & Sons Limited printing company.  I wonder where these lovely cards were retailed in Grey County?   Perhaps they were sold at a bookstore or stationer’s store in Owen Sound or Meaford?  One present tag is dated 1908 and was addressed to “Miss Anna”.  This is a poignant item now, as it was given to Anna Frizzell, who later died on December 8, 1912, in her twelfth year, from Diabetes Mellitus. The present tags were apparently each attached to a parcel by means of a narrow, dyed ribbon strung through the punched hole. Unfortunately, we do not know what Anna received that Christmas in 1908, but I hope that she really enjoyed her present.

 

Swan Card 1993.018.033

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