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18th-century Valentine’s card sells for £7,000

UK News | Published:

Auction house Hansons said the approximately 230-year-old card smashed its estimate of £200-£300.

One of the world’s oldest surviving Valentine’s cards has been auctioned for more than £7,000.

Derbyshire-based auction house Hansons said the approximately 230-year-old card – dating back to around 1790 – smashed its estimate of £200-£300.

The card sold on Valentine’s Day morning after a battle between two phone bidders and would-be online buyers from Europe and America, going for £5,800.

With buyer’s premium and VAT, the total price paid will be £7,192.

Hansons said the unusual lot was bought by Jakki Brown, from London, who had fallen in love with its historical significance.

The 54-year-old, editor and co-owner of London’s Progressive Greetings, a trade magazine for the card industry, said: “I’m so happy. I was convinced I would be outbid. I was so nervous about the sale, I hardly slept the night before.

“I’ve bought this because I really believe in the art of card sending and to buy this on Valentine’s Day makes it extra special.

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“For me, this Valentine is a wonderful example of an enduring British tradition. I will never sell it.”

Valentine’s Day card auction
The recipient address on the card (Hansons Auctioneers/PA)

A handwritten verse inside the card is thought to have been sent to a woman named Ann, who was living in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in the late 18th century.

The lot was part of a collection which belonged to Lawrence Randle, a keen philatelist and card collector who died at the age of 88 in 2009.

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