|Valentine Kissing Couple Hankie by PatinaVintage|
|Valentine's Day Heart Candy Box|
|Crystal Filigree Heart Brooch|
|Queen of Hearts Tiara |
Though nobody knows for sure when and where the heart shape first originated, shapes resembling the heart have been found around the world throughout history. In North Africa during the 17th century B.C. the trade of a rare plant was a lucrative business. The plant Silphium was used as a form of birth control, and was such an important commodity to the area that coins were minted with the seedpod shape on them. The Silphium pod looks very much like the heart shape we know today.
Much later, in the 15th century, the heart shape was pictured on most playing card decks as one of the red suits. The printing press had just been introduced in 1480, and shortly after that, the cup that had once been used on playing cards, which represented the holy grail, had been change to a heart. Of course, the queen of hearts has been used on many items, Valentines related or not, and continues to be the most loved playing card of them all.
|King & Queen of Hearts Game Pieces|
By Paddy Ridge
|The Winking Queen of Hearts|
|Precious antique Sacred Heart|
|French Sacred Heart of Jesus Folk Art|
|The Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tarts|
|Cherry Pie Pops by CakewalkDesserts|
It really wasn’t until the 19th century that the mass produced Valentine came to be. Even though handmade Valentines cards had been created for years, the iconography was not consistent. In 1840 a card had been produced with a picture of seated lovers and a Romanesque cupid with a sacred heart impaled on his arrow, hovering in the background.
|Lacy Lovely Victorian Valentines by TheMagpieSociety|
|Sweet Little Girl Boy Valentine Card|
|Valentine Heart Brooch with Ruby Red Flowers|
|Photo © 2012 Lots of Postcards|
Vintage 1920 German Valentine