Contest! Decode This Curious Hieroglyphick Valentine

By: Anna Dysert, Librarian, Archival & Rare Book Cataloguing

Decode the image below for a sweet Valentine’s Day message and win a prize!

Printed some time in the mid-19th century, this clever Valentine’s rebus comes from McGill’s uncatalogued collection of greeting cards dating as far back as 1790, with many Victorian examples like this one. Valentine’s Day cards surged in popularity during the 19th century, with the spread of cheaper mass printing techniques and improvements to the postal systems in North America and the UK. Hieroglyphs, too, had captured the Victorian imagination since the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 and the deciphering of hieroglyphs in the 1820s.

Help us unlock the answers and you could win some goodies including a McGill travel mug and book!

Email your entry to

Deadline for submission is Wednesday, February 28.

Look out for the answers in an upcoming blog post and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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