A proof of one of the first Christmas cards, dating from 1843 and showing a family eating Christmas dinner.
The card was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole who had the card designed by J.C. Horsley a well known artist who also painted portraits of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. He was an active public figure who had been a Captain in the Dragoon Guards, was involved in the introduction of the penny post, helped organise the Great Exhibition in 1851 and was a founder of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
1,000 cards were printed and they were sold at one shilling each (5p), but only around 20 are thought to have survived, very few of which are in private hands, the majority being in museums or public archives.
This is one of the few uni-coloured proofs known of this card and was inherited from an elderly gentleman who was married to one of Sir Henry Cole's grand-daughters. Some foxing but mostly away from the actual picture.