Ireland’s most expensive Christmas cards

Set of early 20th-century Irish Christmas cards is among highlights in the latest catalogue from De Búrca Rare Books

Detail from  a Christmas card published by the Cuala Press

Detail from a Christmas card published by the Cuala Press

 

A rare set of early 20th-century Irish Christmas cards from the Cuala Press is among the highlights in the latest catalogue from De Búrca Rare Books in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

The Cuala Press was established in 1908 by Elizabeth Yeats, a sister of the poet WB Yeats, and published books, greeting cards and prints by Irish authors and artists.

The “13 Hand-Coloured Greeting and 13 Christmas Cards (26 in total)” feature designs commissioned from artists including Jack B Yeats, his wife Mary C. Yeats, his sister Elizabeth Corbet Yeats and Fr Jack Hanlon. Many have the quality of original watercolours and show typical west of Ireland landscapes or scenes from the Christmas story and other artists.

The cards were printed on Irish paper – specially made for the Cuala Press at the Saggart paper mill – and contain either verses commissioned from Irish writers or just simple Christmas greetings.

Book dealer Will de Búrca said “although large numbers of these cards were issued, they are, by their very nature, ephemeral and very few examples remain, especially in this condition”.

The “magnificent” collection – for anyone seeking last- minute and totally unique Christmas cards – is €750. See deburcararebooks.com

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