PBA Galleries sending vintage valentines to auction Feb. 11

vintage valentines

A sampling from a 96-page binder containing 862 Victorian and early 20th century ‘concealed name’ valentines. Estimate: $800-$1,200. PBA Galleries image

BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries will auction the Frank Graff Collection of rare valentines from the Victorian age on Thursday, Feb. 11. The collection includes over 125 lots of Victorian and Edwardian-era valentines and trade cards. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Many different styles of valentines of the period are represented, including a large number with foldout and 3D elements, beehive style with folding crepe paper (below), lace-cut, and concealed name valentines (above), among numerous other styles. A large number of trade cards from the era are also present in the sale, as well as a selection of calendars and other holiday-related ephemera.

vintage valentines

One of a lot of 55 Victorian and early 20th century ‘beehive’ valentines in an album. Estimate: $500-$800. PBA Galleries image

Significant albums and collections bring together important items from the Victorian era. A large gathering of approximately 400 Victorian trade cards, housed in a vinyl folder, features many from Arbuckles Bros. Coffee Co. as well as cards featuring the individual states of America and the countries of the world (est. $1,000-$1,500).

vintage valentines

A few of approximately 400 Victorian trade cards, housed in vinyl folder in plastic pockets, late 1800s. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. PBA Galleries image

A handsome collection of 862 valentines from the late 19th and early 20th centuries includes cards with an array of elaborate color embossed designs and paper-cut borders ($800-$1,200). A group of 300 Victorian and early 20th century Valentines are printed with various chromolithographic floral patterns, embossed motifs, paper-cut borders and occasional use of lace and fabrics ($600-$900).

Other highlights include an album of 700 valentines, the majority of which are various styles of mechanical valentines from throughout the late Victorian and early 20th century. Many feature pins, pull tabs and moving parts; colored with elaborate embossing, chromolithography and even some hand-colored insets ($700-$1,000).

A charming collection of Victorian die-cuts features a variety of styles including several loose die-cut elements that were once part of layered cards, many of which resemble in style Raphael Tuck & Sons’ work from the turn of the 20th century ($200-$300). A selection of striking early 20th-century Victorian calendar fans showcases varying styles of chromolithographic die-cut panels, embossing, gilt borders; tied together with colorful string or metal pin ($400-$600). A collection of valentines from around the turn of the 20th century all showcase some manner of fold-out and/or moveable parts, many with foldout cobweb/beehive elements ($500-$800).

vintage valentines

One of a lot of five large die-cut valentines. Estimate: $600-$900. PBA Galleries image

PBA continues to safeguard the health of employees and clients by remaining closed to the public. PBA will limit live auction participation to online or phone bidding. For more information about upcoming sales or to schedule a Zoom preview or phone bidding for a future auction, contact the galleries at 415-989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.


View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/