[LACE PAPER VALENTINE]. Heart-Shaped Card with Figures. Worcester, USA: Whitney, [c.1900].
Heart shaped Whitney Valentine (12cm x 11cm at widest points); printed coloured heart design with centrepiece of a boy holding a baseball bat; overlaid with intricate lace paper garland with couple in boat and child in bonnet; inside a printed design of a palm-reader and boy; "With Valentine's greetings" printed underneath; a lovely example, just a hint of rubbing, particularly in small patches to verso; near-fine.
A turn-of-the-century Whitney card, evidenced from the use of the later logo to the verso. This card was prehaps intended for a younger consumer, given the subject matter. After Whitney purchased Esther Howland's New England Valentine company in 1881, he developed a style, similar to those created by the McLoughlin Brothers Company, of chromolithographed layers, sometimes with a layer of lace paper, such as in this example. The developments in chromolithography allowed Whitney to great a greater volumes of cards en masse, and so many argue that the cards no longer have the luxurious handmade quality of Howland's. We can forgive Whitney, however, for having to keep up with tremdous demand by the 1900s, and this card, produced in one of the most prolific periods in his career, still remains a charming survival.