Merry Christmas: past and present!!

This festive week we wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy New Year.

As we look forward to 2015 we highlight Christmas greetings which were sent more than a century ago and now form part of the Special Collections at the University of Southampton.

Seasonal postcard is by Frank McFadden of Southampton

Seasonal postcard is by Frank McFadden of Southampton

This pretty engraving for a seasonal postcard is by Frank McFadden of Southampton and dates from around 1890 [Cope cq SOU 91.5]. Christmas greetings are coupled with views of the city, including the West Gate and Bar Gate, still an important historic landmark today. This is one of many illustrations in the Cope Collection which together form a visual historic record of Southampton and surrounding areas.

Photographic Christmas card

Photographic Christmas card

Also dating from the late nineteenth century, this photographic Christmas card celebrates Christmas 1887. A small portrait photograph of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, wearing dress uniform, is surrounded by photographs of ships of the Mediterranean Fleet, including HMS Dreadnought, HMS Sultan, HMS Phaeton, HMS Agamemnon, HMS Edinburgh, HMS Benbow and HMS Colossus. The individual images are placed at jaunty angles, and interspersed with ribbons printed with seasonal greetings, flowers, and ferns. The card was sent to Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg, later first Marquis of Milford Haven, when commanding HMS Dreadnought, and is part of the Broadlands Archive [MB2/A12/39].

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