This heart-shaped Valentine comes complete with its original Envelope that shows it was belatedly posted in Philadelphia on 18th February 1864. It is addressed to Miss Lizzie McAllister at 728 Chesnut Street, also in Philadelphia. The embossed card has a white and gold envelope and ring on the front which lifts up to reveal the sentiment ‘Forget Me Not’. The card itself also opens and inside the sender has penned two personal verses to his Valentine:
Lizzie McAllister it is the same
In 13th St I saw the name
She’s wondrous wise they say
And talks French Greek & Latin every day.
Indeed I don’t mean any wrong
And my story will not be very long
To declare my intentions infine
Lizzie McAllister is my Valentine.
The McAllister family were prominent businessmen in Philadelphia. John Sr. emigrated from Scotland in 1775 and established a business producing whips and canes. In 1796 he acquired a stock of spectacles and thereafter he also began to manufacture and supply optical equipment including cameras. He was succeeded in the business by his son and then in turn by his grandson. Eliza (Lizzie) was his great grand-daughter born in 1845.
The Valentine and envelope have been well preserved and are in good condition with minor age browning. There are light horizontal fold lines across the top and bottom of the card where it was originally folded to fit into the envelope. There is also a small hole on the front of the envelope and to the bottom right corner. Presumably also there would originally have been a postage stamp on it which is now missing.
Item Ref. 4845
Size: closed, 128 x 118mm (5 x 45/8")
Provenance: An English Collection of Valentines