If you can’t remember the last time you received a Christmas card or any type of postcard, you are not the only one. Once a popular way to send Christmas greetings, Christmas cards are no longer so popular, with barely anyone using them.
However, Christmas cards became popular in another way – as a collectible, especially the older cards that became highly sought among antique collectors. There are many reasons why did these cards become a popular collectible: beautiful motifs, sentimental value, etc.
Additionally, antique Christmas cards are usually affordable (although there are some insanely expensive), and basically anyone can collect them.
Short History of Christmas Cards
The idea of Christmas cards was born sometime during the Victorian era when people realized they spent too much time on their holiday correspondence. One man, Henry Cole, started publishing cards with holiday scenery on one side, and a prewritten message on the other, with space for some personalization.
Others followed in his footsteps, but it wasn’t until after the Civil War that Christmas cards became truly popular in the United States. Soon enough, in the early 20th century, Christmas cards were everywhere, and they became the favorite mail during the Christmas holidays.
Usually, these Christmas cards depicted Santa Claus, a Christmas tree, reindeer, angels, snow, children playing, gifts, and similar motifs. By the end of the 20th century, Christmas cards lost their appeal to a wide audience, and nowadays, they are mostly published by small publishers.
Most Christmas cards published today are either minimalistic, humorous, or influenced by digital art and other modern designs. Although many of them are beautiful, they aren’t as wholesome and warm as the antique Christmas cards.
22 Vintage Christmas Cards
Here is the list of the most interesting vintage Christmas cards. Some of them cost a real fortune, but some others are more affordable.
The price depends on various factors, how old that Christmas card is, is it well-preserved or not, is it rare, etc. Some Christmas cards were designed and painted by famous artists, which makes them even more valuable.
The most expensive vintage card on our list, this antique card has a price of an unbelievable $100,000.00! It is watercolor hand-painted on cotton paper, depicting a court jester. Although it shows some signs of wear and tear, it is still in a good condition, and it is one of a kind.
An early piece of work for the acclaimed American artist Norman Rockwell, this card is dated back to the 1920s or 1930s. It is not one of a kind, but it is extremely rare. This card was actually a salesman’s sample, and it was printed on a heavy pebbled DeLuxe art paper. The price for this card starts at $10,600.00.
This vintage Christmas postcard was printed on a parchment paper specifically for Dr. and Mrs. Henry. W. Goodyear of Cincinnati, Ohio, somewhere between 1933 and 1938. It is in a good shape and it shows black silhouettes of four horses and a carriage. The price is $10,300.00.
Another salesman’s sample, this card was printed on a high-quality woodblock on a parchment paper, with gold illumination. It depicts two people standing by a Victorian cottage and a gnarly tree, and its price is $6,300.00.
Beautiful french fold holiday card with a lithograph print from the 1930s, this vintage card shows Virgin Mary taking care of little baby Jesus. It has a verse written on the inside, with the rest of the inside being blank. The price of this card is $6,000.00.
This antique card shows two kids – a boy and a girl, playing in the snow. It was printed on lightweight paper using a lithograph printing process. It was printed somewhere during the 1930s and its price is $6,000.00.
This unusual black-and-gray Christmas card depicts a Bethlehem star shining on a silhouette riding a camel. Printed on cotton paper, it is still in a good condition, and its cost is $6,000.00.
This three-fold Merry Christmas postcard was printed on textured paper, it is in great condition, and it was never used. It shows a little girl reading a book under candlelight, with a cat laying on the floor. Its price is $6,000.00.
This french fold Christmas card was printed in the 1940s with woodblock, hand coloring, and silkscreen. It has beautiful silver illuminations and it costs $4,700.00.
Another french fold Christmas card from the 1940s, this Christmas card was hand-colored with a woodblock. It shows a pine branch with cones and berries, and its front verse wishes Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Its price is $4,600.00.
This beautiful vintage postcard shows a snowman in front of the gray surface that was illuminated with silver. The exact printing technique is unknown. Its price is $4,300.00.
Fench fold vintage card illuminated in gold, this Christmas card shows a boy and a girl singing Christmas carols underneath the Christmas tree. Its price is $3,200.00.
Antique french fold Christmas card covered with glitter. It depicts a stained glass window with Poinsettia flowers. It has inside verses wishing a happy Christmas and quoting the Bible. The cost is $3,200.00.
This card is illuminated with silver glitter, and it was painted by Brian Truelove, an artist from Scotland. It shows a cozy, red colonial house covered in snow and surrounded by trees. Its price is $3,200.00.
The card depicts a black cat looking through the window and sitting by the candle. The window is decorated with garlands, and it is a snowy night outside. The price o this card is $1,400.00.
An artwork from Tasha Tudor, this Christmas card shows a young family celebrating Christmas by the fireplace, reading books, and playing with their pets. It is in a mint condition and its price is $500.00.
This Christmas card has a similar theme to the previous one, and it shows a young family and its pets welcoming their Christmas tree. This card was also designed by Tasha Tudor, it is in a mint condition, and it costs $320.00.
Another one designed by Tasha Tudor, this vintage Christmas card shows a boy, a girl, and a dog, dragging a Christmas tree over the snowy field. It has an unusual red frame and its price is $186.00.
One of the cheapest items on our list, this Christmas card was printed in Denmark in 1950. It shows a Christmas tree branch with an apple, a Christmas gift, a cookie, and a pomegranate fruit. It only costs $10.00, which is very cheap for such a beautiful and well-preserved card.
This used Christmas card shows people skating on frozen ponds, with three horse carriages passing them by. On the back, it has a hand-written Christmas greeting. The cost is $7.50.
This vintage mid-century Hallmark Christmas card shows five angels flying and holding a framed piece of white paper that says “Greetings”. It is in a good condition, and it was signed inside. The price is $7.00.
The cheapest item on our list, this vintage Christmas card shows a deer standing in a snowy forest, observing a glowing Christmas tree. It is in a good condition and it costs only $1.75.
Although they are rarely used in everyday life, even during the Christmas holidays, Christmas cards remain popular among collectors due to their rarity, age, and fascinating history. Many people collect vintage Christmas cards because they bring a breath of Christmas spirit with them.
In this post, we listed more than twenty interesting Christmas cards. Some of them cost thousands of dollars, and they are highly valued among collectors. However, there are many cheap vintage Christmas cards out there, which is great for those who want to collect them without breaking the bank.
Do you keep old Christmas cards? What’s your favorite one? Share in the comments!