Mechanical cards

Cards with "tricks" or surprises, cards cut to the shapes of the pictures on them, and animated or mechanical cards were frequently intended for the amusement of children, but they found a wide audience among Victorian adults as well. The movable and three-dimensional cards have not always stood up well to the passage of time.

A Merry Christmas

The survivor shown here is in the shape of a house in which when a tab is pulled, the curtains open revealing scenes of Christmas festivities. Though, not shown here, the open front door reveals a butler or footman greeting the viewer with a mug of ale and a plate of food.

A Happy New Year to you.

An example of a card featuring a cut-out shows a young man bidding goodnight to a young woman on her doorstep. On the opposite side of the card, the young woman's father, dressed in nightcap and dressing gown, clearly disapproves of his daughter's late return.