Raphael Tuck & Sons
Raphael Tuck was born in 1821 at Koschmin, a small town in East Prussia. In 1865 he moved to England and by the following year had opened a small shop, in London, selling and framing pictures and chromolithographs, which were printed mostly in Germany.
From this small beginning the firm entered the field of publishing and in 1870 his three sons joined the business. At this time their productions included fine art prints, chromos, coloured scraps and in 1871 they published their first Christmas and New Year cards.
In 1880 the firm launched a nation-wide competition to find talent and originality in design - designs expressly created by artists for Christmas cards. Five thousand paintings and designs were submitted, an exhibition was held in the Dudley Galleries, Piccadilly and large cash prizes were awarded to the winners.
Sadly, in December 1940 the firms premises, Raphael House, was destroyed - in one of the biggest air raids of the Second World War on London - and the records of seventy-four years of industry had vanished.
Text above adapted from The Romance of the House of Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd published on the occasion of the companys centenary, October 1966.
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