The World’s First Christmas Card Printed in 1843 Sold for $25,000

The world’s first commercially printed Christmas card, originally marketed in 1843, is being sold through a Boston-based book dealer for $25,000.

The card, created by Henry Cole, John Calcott Horsley and Joseph Cundall in the same year that Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was first published, shows a large family — including a young girl — gathered around a table drinking glasses of wine.

The card proved controversial at the time, with members of Britain’s temperance movement decrying the depiction of alcohol consumption by the young girl.

Justin Schiller, president of Battledore Ltd., the New York antiquities dealership that currently owns the card, said the card was so controversial when it was released that it was three years before another Christmas card was commercially printed.

About 1,000 copies of the card were originally produced, and around 30 are known to still exist. The one being sold through Boston-based book dealer Marvin Getman as one of “the finest known copies” still in circulation.

The card went on sale Friday with an asking price of $25,000.

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