Saturday, April 15, 2017

Freaky Easter Cards: Bizarro Victorian Holiday Greetings II

A couple of years ago, I did a post on Creepy Christmas Cards: Bizarro Victorian Holiday Greetings http://valleyofsteel.blogspot.com/2014/12/creepy-christmas-cards-bizarro.html. Well, guess what--the Victorians came up with quite a selection of weird Easter cards as well. While not as creepy as some of the Christmas ones, Victorian Easter greetings could be just as bizarre, and to modern eyes, quite inappropriate. Like the Christmas cards, the Easter cards are overwhelmingly secular and often feature anthropomorphized animals pulling carts, whipping each other, playing instruments, riding each other and other weird activities (for animals).

A boy in a strange outfit plays a flute (chews licorice?) with a pussy willow whip in hand while sitting in a nest of very large eggs. The rabbit, quite wisely, is getting the hell out of there.
Rabbits are attempting to carry a supersized golden egg with pussy willow switches. They aren't having much success. Everything is out of scale in this card set in a huge field.
Easter greetings, military style. Rabbit soldiers fire eggs out of a cannon while an officer riding a chicken brandishes a sword. Note that while the text is in English, the rabbits are wearing Pickelhauben, German army helmets. 
Kittens dressed as children are dyeing a purple egg whence a large "chickee" is hatching. That's why the sender couldn't send eggs. Or is it because the kittens ate the chick as soon as it emerged?
With an ominous sky overhead, chicks carrying baskets wait to board a steamship. From their hats, we can deduce that these are affluent fowl. One can't help but wonder why going on a ship has anything to do with Easter celebrations.
Chicks inexplicably wearing spring bonnets admire the eggshells from which they presumably emerged. Where are the other two chickens?
A sad rabbit quartet wishes us "A Joyful Easter." With a drum, two cornets, and a violin (played on the right-hand side), it's hard to imagine what any tunes coming from this quartet would sound like.
Too cheap to buy different cards for Christmas and Easter? You could scratch out "A Happy Easter" and use this card showing an adult man-rabbit pushing kid-rabbits and eggs through the snow in a sled for Christmas.
Whoa. What the heck is going on here? Maybe the egg was too large to hard boil.

Better watch out, kiddies.
An evil-looking rabbit watches another rabbit with a basket of eggs on its back drown. Happy Easter!
ADDENDUM 
After my German cousin Hanne read this post, she sent me a vintage Easter card that she found in the family home in Wei├čenstadt. It's a post card addressed to Hanne's grandmother Babette, postmarked April 5, 1917--almost exactly 100 years ago. This date is during World War I, and perhaps that explains why the card seems more subdued than festive.  
'Want to see more weird Victorian cards? Check out these sites:
Twenty Bizarre Old Easter Cards http://www.popthomology.com/2013/03/twenty-bizarre-old-easter-cards.html
Crazy Website: Happy Easter Earthlings  http://www.crazywebsite.com/Pg-Holiday-Entertainment-Humor/Easter/Funny_Cards/pg-bizarre-old-greeting-cards/vintage-Easter-greetings-strange-kids-giant-raw-egg_jpg.htm