‘World’s worst Valentine’s card’ revealed by York museum

Faye Prior with the remarkable find. Photographs: York Castle Museum
Faye Prior with the remarkable find. Photographs: York Castle Museum
Faye Prior with the remarkable find. Photographs: York Castle Museum

This hairy monstrosity is being claimed as the world’s worst Valentine’s card by staff at York Castle Museum. And looking at it, who are we to argue?

Even the tackiest modern day card would struggle to compete with this hirsute greeting, which dates from around 1900.

And yes, that is real human hair, which is meant to resemble a moustache.

“For The New Woman!” the front reads. “With St Valentine’s Heartiest Greetings and Best Hopes that she will receive another – With A Man Attached”.

The card was printed by and copyrighted to Angus Thomas, London – to which the question must be asked: what in the name of Charles Dickens was he thinking?

Little else is known about it. We don’t know if it was ever sent, and if so by which madman – or whether it tickled the fancy of his sweetheart.

In all its glory. More suited to Movember than February…
In all its glory. More suited to Movember than February…

“The Victorians were not the prim and proper lot they are often made out to be – they loved the curious and bizarre as much as we do today,” said Faye Prior of the Castle Muesum. “It just wasn’t shown in public as much.

“But even for them this card is remarkable. Whoever thought it was a wise idea to send a card with real moustache hair on?

“The card has certainly amused everyone at the Castle Museum – even if it is a bit insulting nowadays. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the receiver of this card…”

The Valentine’s card is one of more than 600 in the museum’s collection, including the oldest known example which dates from 1797.

Museum staff are inviting the public to use Twitter and Facebook to share their thoughts on the card and their own worst Valentine’s Cards and presents.