The most expensive Christmas card ever to be sold was inscribed with the greeting “Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you” and was one of the first to ever be made.
Produced in 1843 the card, and designed by English painter JC Horsley the card was commissioned by businessman Sir Henry Cole. Sir Henry Cole was a prominent businessman of the time and is famous for having modernized the British postal system with the controversial penny post in 1840.
Only 12 cards of an original batch of 1000 remain in existence and in September 2001 an anonymous seller offered one of the cards, which was actually signed by Sir Henry Cole himself for auction with Devizes auctioneers Henry Aldridge.
Auctioneer Alan Aldridge said: “We had received six sealed bids for the Christmas card before the auction started and when the bidding did get under way there were seven people in the room bidding and another four bidding by telephone.”
Originally it was believed that the card would sell for a figure between £4,000 and £6,000 however the price rose steadily as two bidders battled to win the lot and the final selling price was a record breaking £22,250 making it the most expensive Christmas card ever sold.
The buyer was a telephone bidder and remains anonymous however it is believed that the current owner is from London.