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Victorian Ephemera for Scrapbooking, Crafts and Home Décor

Updated on November 21, 2015
Victorian Christmas Card,
Victorian Christmas Card, | Source

Beautiful Keepsakes from a Bygone Era

Hearts, lace, and cherubs are what we think of when we imagine Victorian ephemera. From greeting cards, postcards and labels to business cards and posters—images of Victoriana grace them all.

The scrapbooking craze has brought a renewed interest in the beautiful romantic images of the past. Enthusiasts can find reproduction images as near as their favorite craft store.

The appreciation for Victorian-themed images comes and goes in waves in the public imagination. But for the many die-hard fans all over the world, Victoriana never goes out of style.

Victorian Valentine Dated 1899

Victorian Valentine dated 1899,
Victorian Valentine dated 1899, | Source

What in the World is Ephemera?

Ephemera actually is a word that means printed material that isn't meant to be preserved. Ironically, paper pieces from different eras are some of the most collected items the world over.

Victorian ephemera is especially sought after. Greeting card history goes back centuries, but it wasn't until cards became more affordable to the general public in the 1800s that they became popular. They reached their heyday in the Victorian era where romantic images of love, hearts, mothers and children became keepsakes.

Scrapbooking - Return of a Victorian Pastime

Keeping a scrapbook is nothing new. In fact, Victorian women and children were avid in collecting and storing items of everyday importance in their scrapbooks.

Today, this has become a hot commercial industry with papers and other ephemera designed to last much longer than their Victorian counterparts.

Antique Clipart for Free and For Sale

Find free to download and available to purchase ephemera to use in your collage and altered art.

A Victorian Scrapbook
A Victorian Scrapbook

I own this book and the photography of the Victorian greetings is artfully and beautifully done. It's a gorgeous coffee-table type book for Victoriana lovers.


Learn More About Victorian Ephemera

Authors such as Cynthia Harris specialize in Victorian ephemera collecting and history. Here are some books you might be interested in related to this popular collectible.

Ephemera Associations

There are ephemera groups dedicated to preserving the history of printed material. Find out more by visiting the sites listed below.

Antique Valentine.
Antique Valentine. | Source

Cupid Images

Angels, cherubs and cupids are standard images found on Victorian ephemera, especially for Valentine's Day cards.

Cherubs are actually part of the Judeo-Christian angelic host called the cherubim, which have come to be confused with the innocent childlike figures on these greeting cards.

Cupid was the Roman god of erotic love and beauty. He is often seen pointing his bow at someone who will fall in love soon after being pierced by Cupid's arrow.

First Christmas Card Trivia

The first commercial Christmas card was designed by John Callcott Horsley in 1843. It was created using lithography and depicted acts of charity for the poor.

Are You a Victoriana Lover?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I saw Victoria magazine at the supermarket back in 1990 and subscribed to it. I love that magazine. Each issue is a work of art! I ordered some calling cards and stationary from them that has the clasp hands and roses. I love it! I even got a calling card holder for my purse made of medal. Awesome lens! I m going to check out those clip art pages! I would love to see some of those scrapbooks from the 19th century! :D

    • ZenandChic profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens! Blessed by an angel!

    • PatriciaJoy profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Michigan

      @MSBeltran1: Thanks for the rating. I'm glad you liked it. I do love Victorian cards and style, though I think if I could decorate my home that way, I would make it a cross between country and Victorian.

    • MSBeltran1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful... I do love Victorian style, people excercised patience and attention to detail and tastes were elegant. 5* for a great lens.


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