Is this the worst Valentine's Day card in history? Moustache horror revealed in York

By Culture24 Reporter | 13 February 2014

A mysterious Valentine's Day card from more than a century ago sports an unromantic gift - moustache hair

A photo of a card with hair attached to it
© York Castle Museum. Photo: Mike Linstead
Curators at York Castle Museum are responsible for more than 600 Valentine’s Cards in the collection, the oldest of which, from 1797, is so delicate it remains hidden from display.

But the worst, they believe, comes from 1900, attached with real hair in a grim impression of a chopped-off moustache.

A photo of a female curator holding up a small greetings card with hair attached to it
Curator of History Alison Bodley handles the hirsute card© York Castle Museum. Photo: Mike Linstead
“The Victorians were not the prim and proper lot they are often made out to be,” reveals Faye Prior, the Collections Facilitator, inviting the public to comment on this amorous oddity.

“They loved the curious and bizarre as much as we do today. 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 – even if it is a bit insulting nowadays. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the receiver of this card.”

Printed and copyrighted to Angus Thomas, London, the caption reads: “For The New Woman! With St. Valentine’s Heartiest Greetings and Best Hopes that she will receive another [moustache] - With A Man Attached.”

It has gone on display alongside “more romantic” cards until Monday (February 17 2014).

Tell the museum what you think on Twitter @YorkCastle and Facebook, or leave a comment below.

More on Valentine's Day:

Culture lovers: Museums, galleries and forests to spend Valentine's Day in

Picture Gallery: Insulting Valentine's Day cards from bygone Londoners

Wives and Sweethearts: Love Letters sent During Wartime revealed by Army Museum
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