By: Brittany Bevis
For those of you who are calendar-challenged, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. (It’s tomorrow!) In honor of the romantic occasion, we decided to feature a valentine-themed Throwback Thursday.
Nowadays, exchanging Valentine’s Day greetings typically includes a heart-shaped box of chocolates, jewelry, flowers, a night out on the town, or some other type of grand gesture. However, there was a time when handmade cards were all the rage, either the romantic watercolor and lace versions of the 30s and 40s or the quirky mechanical cards of the 50s and 60s.
Our first vintage equine valentine comes courtesy of Heidi at Gold Country Girls blog. Heid is one of three sisters who grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, an area aptly nicknamed “Gold Country.” Heidi was lucky enough to discover a treasure trove of vintage valentines at her husband’s childhood home. By far, one of her favorites is a large, flat, mechanical valentine that features a childlike version of the Lone Ranger.
It reads, “Hi Ho Valentine, I’ll not be a ‘LONE RANGER’ with you by my side… You’ve taken my heart for a ride!” What makes this particular valentine so special is the mechanical feature that causes the front end of the boy’s gray horse to move up and down as he rides across the page.
The Vintage Valentine Museum has several equine-themed cards that date as far back as the 1930s. One of their mechanical valentines is dated 1943 and was made in the USA. It reads, “Yipee! I have come to claim you for my Valentine.” The mechanical feature on this card allows the boy’s eyes and hat to move.
Another mechanical valentine comes from the 1930s and was made in Germany. It features a trick rider on a bucking horse. It says, “My heart is yours Valentine.”
In the fold-out card section, a “Valentine for a Dear Grand daughter” features a three-dimensional gray horse that pulls a cart full of colorful flowers. This particular card was made by Hallmark and is dated 1946.
Another fold-out card was definitely made with kids in mind as it shows a young equestrienne being courted by a playful boy and his spotted pony. The card reads, “Hey, quit ‘HORSING’ around! Be my Valentine!” This card is circa 1950-1960 and was also made in the USA.
The last card in this section features a horse that wears trousers and tails while playing a love sonnet on the piano. It reads, “Neigh! This isn’t just “HORSEPLAY, Please- Be my Valentine!” This card was made in the USA and dates back to the 30s-40s.
Finally, Zazzle offers plenty of vintage horse-themed valentine graphics that can be printed on to your own customizable card. Several western-era designs include cowgirls or cowboys that have “lassoed” their lovers’ hearts. There are a few that feature the tried and true symbol of Valentine’s Day, a cherub Cupid, shown either riding atop a horse with his bow and arrow or holding a lucky horseshoe. The graphic of “Until Tomorrow” dates back to a more chivalrous time period as it pictures a horseback couple on a romantic trail ride.
Other childlike valentines include a rearing black horse that holds an envelope between its teeth and the bright cartoon graphics of “Hobby Horse,” which reads, “Loving You Valentine, is my Hobby.” And what could be cuter than a Paint pony holding a heart-shaped valentine that reads, ‘My love is true, Sweetheart for you.’
Last, but not least, we leave you with one final valentine and its charming rhyme which reads, “Don’t Say ‘Neigh…’ Say ‘Yes!’ A pony’s ‘Neigh’ means ‘Yes,’ it’s true. I hope your answer’ll be ‘Yes’ too.” Scroll below to view them all!
Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!