Judging by the large number of pop-up greeting cards you can find online and in stores these days, you might assume that the format is a relatively recent development, but the cards have actually made their first appearance. popular in the Victorian era.
Their development mirrored that of the âmovable booksâ produced for children by authors like Ernest Nister and Lothar Meggendorfer, but on a much shorter scale, of course. Some had paper honeycomb decorations that could be opened to form pom poms or hearts, but most were designed to stand upright to form three-dimensional scenes.
The design of pop-ups continued to evolve, possibly influenced by the publication in 1962 of the best-selling book Kirigami, The Creative Art of Paper Cutting by Florence Tempko. Kirigami combines origami paper folding techniques with paper cutting. Although the process usually involves a single sheet of paper, it can easily be scaled to multiple layers.
Today, pop-up cards are always more innovative and complex – some even have confetti, lights and sounds – and a plethora of new companies (Lovepop, Freshcut, PopLife, etc.) and paper engineers ( Robert Sabuda, Peter Dahmen, etc.) competed with Hallmark and American Greetings for the attention of today’s consumer and collector.
While prices for brand new contemporary cards typically range from $ 5 to $ 15, old and vintage cards are highly dependent on rarity, subject, and condition.
Christmas and Valentine’s Day cards usually earn more than others, as do cards that aren’t torn, smeared, or written down. A review of recent online sales found that most unique specimens were selling for $ 5 to $ 40 and up, but special pieces sold for up to $ 80 and up.
One more thing: whether you are interested in vintage, or prefer to collect contemporary cards for your own amusement, remember to DO NOT use cellophane or glue to glue your specimens into a scrapbook; do NOT store your cards in anything other than an album or archive box; and do NOT write anywhere on the card or its envelope. You will thank us later if you ever decide to sell.
Want to learn more about collecting pop-up cards? Check out these sites and
Greeting Card Association (GreetingCard.org) – The organization sponsors the annual Noted: The Greeting Card Expo for “greeting card makers, publishers, retailers, buyers, artists, sales representatives and agencies license “. They also host the LOUIE awards for best cards in various categories.
Malcom Warrington invites you to learn more about Victorian Greeting Cards (Weekly Collectors) – The interview offers valuable tips and ideas.
Movable Book Society (MovableBookSociety.org) – Their quarterly newsletter, Movable Stationery, features âarticles on all things paper furnitureâ. The site also contains links to leading paper engineers.
Paper Engineer Creates Beautiful Pop-Up Maps (MyModernMet.com) – The article on Peter Dahmen includes links to videos showing his process.
These pop-up cards are incredible feats of paper engineering (InterestingEngineering.com) – Great photos.