Who thought up to dispatch Christmas cards?Day on January 29, by and large, do not differ from 364 - 365 fellows. If such geniuses as Anton Chekhov, Romain Rolland, William Mack - Kinley, 25 - y the U.S. President, and absolutely little-known to general public John Kollkott Horsley to whom today, on January 29, 2007, " were not born in it; would knock “ 190 years. Not everyone heard that this English artist, in not remarkable, 1840, together with the friend Henry Cole created the first serial Christmas card on which the family celebrating a holiday was represented, and from below there was an inscription “ The Merry Christmas and happiness in New year! “.
Today we perceive cards, as something itself understood and if to glance in the first half of the 19th century to kind old England by all means to congratulate relatives on its traditions, then it is possible to imagine tortures of the English official sir Henry Cole, the first director of the London museum Victoria and Albert. It had an uncountable number of relatives. And, considering the fact that in “ obligatory " program; by all means entered or donation of an engraving and lithograph on Christmas subjects, or writing of vast letters of congratulations, it is possible to understand degree of torture of the official who instead of paying more attention to the very young wife, pored over paper for hours. And all right there would be some sense, but he never saw some relatives in life.
Here - that was also remembered by sir Henry the friend - the illustrator John Horsley. At its request the London artist who before was especially not allocated with nothing decided to draw the first card in 1840. On a piece of cardboard of 5õ3 inches in size (12,7kh 7,62 cm), as envisioned by the author the Christmas lunch where three generations of one family enjoy joint pastime has to be represented.
The artist thrust to “ to the employer “ for lunch to make a sketch from nature. In the center of drawing it placed seven the sir Genri Koula, sitting at a Christmas table, on each side arranged the pictures urged to remind people around of mercy and compassion of this respectable English family. Judging by drawings, Koula generously shared clothes and food with poor people. When the sketch was ready, it was necessary to put only an inscription known to you.
Henry Cole dispatched cards to a family, friends and acquaintances. Relatives Koulov with pride showed them to people around. Even three years later after emergence they were still exposed on a public inspection. It suggested to Cole an idea that similar cards if to sell them to everyone, can bring in the quite good income.
In 1843 from the original about one thousand copies were printed, and authors received for each card on shilling - it was very big money! However not everything appeared so smoothly: the design of a card caused criticism from the Victorian observers of morality as some family members are represented on it with glasses of wine and forbade Henry Cole further replication of cards. But despite it, interest in a card with the image Koulov did not weaken. By the way, Horsley with Cole considered that interest of public in Christmas cards - no more than momentary fashion, but not business. Time showed that they were mistaken. Since 1860 - x years production of cards was put on a stream.
And nearly 160 years later, in November, 2001 at one of numerous auctions of foggy Albion, in the British city of Viltshir one of cards sent by Henry Cole to the grandmother was unexpectedly exposed. Began the bargaining with the former price - in one shilling, and, eventually, the representative “ first " party; left at auction in England for 20 thousand pounds!
By the way, we were reached by only 12 copies, one of which was sold.
It is necessary to add that to Russia the first Christmas cards came from England in 90 - x years of the 19th century. And enterprising merchants bought only such on which drawing was not followed by an inscription in overseas language - then put it in Russian. Business was troublesome, and therefore sold cards on ruble, and even is more expensive. For such money it was at that time possible to buy 10 kg of selected beef!
Then cards began to print abroad, mainly in Germany, especially for Russia by request of large book-stores.