The designs were used for various occasions. There would have been an appropriate sentiment printed on the inside to suit the particular occasion for which they meant. Some of these cards are very deeply embossed and are truly elegant.
Looking at these cards from a 21st century point of view it is a little difficult to see why these flowers and emblems were used. The Victorians loved to convey coded messages. Floriography, more commonly called the language of flowers, was used allowing individuals to express feelings that otherwise could not be spoken. Remember that Victorian England was very proper and the way in which you presented yourself was of utmost importance.
These are the symbols and flowers depicted on the cards. After reading the individual meanings that I have listed below see if you can find the sentiments that are hidden in these antique Christmas cards.
We associate the swastika with the Nazi regime, but this symbol has a long history in cultural design. It was adopted by them and now has a very unsavory image. The Nazi swastika also had the arms going in the other direction. Traditionally the reverse swastika has been used as a symbol of good luck, welfare, prosperity or victory.
The wishbone usually stands for a wish or desire.
The horseshoe stands for fortune or good luck.
The anchor was an early Christian symbol commonly found in the Roman catacombs. It was used on Christian tombs as a symbol of the hope we have in Christ beyond this life. Most likely the symbol comes from this verse:
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 6:19-20
Daisy – Innocence; loyal love; I’ll never tell; purity.
Ivy – Fidelity; friendship; wedded love; affection.
Aster – Love; daintiness.
Pansy – Thoughts; love.
Red roses – Love; I love you.
Bouquet of roses in full bloom – Gratitude.
Blue violet – Watchfulness; faithfulness; I'll always be true.
Don't forget to go to the NORAD Santa tracking site this evening.
Have a very Merry Christmas from me, Len Bentham at Happy Holidays.