The Scrap Album - Site Guide

A collection of curious valentines

The Persistent Vitality of Popular Follies

Some of the earliest comic valentines were devoted to caricatures of people or were directed at various trades, usually humorous portraits accompanied by extremely uncomplimentary verses that were calculated to wound.

“One of the different forms which a sportive ingenuity has devised for the abuse of Valentine’s Day and its custom of sending through the Post-Office epistolary compliments to the ladies and gentlemen of your acquaintance, makes a considerable display in the lower class of stationers’ shops. It consists of pictures, more or less comical, and more or less resembling any persons you may chance to know, accompanied usually by a few lines of verse, intended to describe their individual characters from a satirical point of view.”
The Illustrated London News, February 1883

  • Opposite
  • Comic valentine
  • No publisher
  • 127 x 203mm (5 x 8in)
  • Mid 19th century


  • You cry your Fish so loud and shrill
  • Turbot, Mackerel, Plaice and Brill
  • And on the women passing by
  • You leer and cast a fishy eye,
  • Now who on earth would ever wish
  • To have a man who smells of fish.


more comic valentines


Albums & Scraps
Saint Valentines Day
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Printed Ephemera