Queen Victoria Funeral Card

August 25, 2010

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at a collection of ephemera from Queen Victoria’s funeral, so we’ll begin with this more modest piece and move into the cultural phenomena of surrounding her death.

Firstly, let’s recap from last week:

Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 exemplifies the pinnacle of her age, with her she took the mourning industry and the grandeur of her funeral is the culmination of mourning she had surrounded herself with since 1861. In 1901, a merging of the technology to mass produce the mourning cards as well as the means to convey them meant her funeral cards and ephemera were widely prolific and a clear measure of the status of those who owned/received them.

For anyone who hasn’t looked over the event of a royal death, Victoria’s is a wonderful place to start, as it shows the extent to which the mourning process had become a public event, not only in the ceremony, but in industry that could feed of the event itself. Funeral cards for Queen Victoria were exceptionally prolific and quite simple to obtain even today, however, many come in different forms and quality. Being products of the turn of the century, Victoria memorial cards follow the formal, almost neo Empire style that was flourishing. Simple, clean (and sombre) lines,  such as the typical black border seen in most memorial cards without the heavy embellishing of the Victorian Rococo style that was not heavily in fashion (Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau were reaching their peak), though the flourishes are still there.

In the case of this card, its formal styling and rendering of Queen Victoria are elegant in their nature and can be seen as a cut above the generic cards that were produced. Note that the frame is a modern addition that works to complement the card itself and the inscription of “to live in our hearts is not to die” is a grand statement of affection and not a personal one. The use of ‘our’ in the text implies that the card had mass appeal and proves the reverence to the Queen for its time.

Courtesy: Barbara Robbins
Dedication: “In Memoriam of Her Most Gracious Majesty, QUEEN VICTORIA, Born May 24th, 1819,

Died At OSBOURNE JANUARY 22nd, 1901. . . .

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

3 Responses to “Queen Victoria Funeral Card”

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