A brief history of Valentine's cards

From floral bouquets and scented hearts, to casual insults and a pig in human clothes – marvel at the sweet (and sometimes quite mean!) Valentine's cards in the V&A's collection.

Join Curator Zorian Clayton as he shows us a selection of delightful cards from our Prints collection. As cards were a new phenomena in the 19th century, people went wild for the opportunity to show a special someone that they were fond of them.

Ranging from one penny to three guineas (£250 in today's money), take a look at intricate mechanical cards, delicate paper cages, ceramic hearts and ruder 'vinegar valentines' sent between friends – and find out whether the language of love really has changed very much since the Victorian era.

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Header image: Mechanical Valentine depicting a woman giving a letter, 1865. From the Buday collection