Merry Christmas from the Harpur Crewes

Xmas angel               Xmas fun

Among the records of the Harpur Crewe collection are a couple of Victorian scrap albums of Christmas cards collected by or for children of the family. One belonged to Richard Fynderne Harpur Crewe (called Dickie) in the 1880s and the other to his sister Frances in the 1890s.I have gathered together a number of images from these two albums (document reference numbers D2375/M/260/7 and D2375/M/246/10) to show the sort of Christmas cards they had then. They’re certainly different, perhaps unbearably so for some! Lots of cute cats and dogs and the like.

Xmas cat group                   Xmas cats

Xmas dog (2)           Xmas dog

There are a couple of Santa Claus cards which stand out. I particularly like the one on the left, not only because he is pedalling away on his penny farthing but also because he has on the red  tunic usually associated with him. You often hear that the modern image of Santa was the product of advertising in the 1930s by some soft drink company or other, so it’s nice to see that it was based on something that did have an earlier tradition.

Xmas Santa on penny farthing                   Xmas Santa

There are quite a few quirky ones.  Clowns, monkeys and soldiers feature on them more than they tend to do today. I do like the hopeful size of the girl’s stocking, but parents may disagree! Nothing, however, for me quite conjures up the true meaning of Christmas as the idea of kangaroos  prospecting for gold.

Xmas in bed   Xmas clown

Xmas kangaroos    Xmas mouse

Xmas veteran              Xmas umbrella cats

There are also a number of New Year’s greeting cards in the albums, of which these are two of the best.

New Year chicks         New Year scene

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Neil

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11 thoughts on “Merry Christmas from the Harpur Crewes

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  11. Really lovely. My research interest is in the medieval Finderns, but I do so enjoy seeing items their descendants made. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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