These Rare Julia Child Valentines Will Make You Believe in Love Again

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Each memento goes on sale mid-May
julia child auction
Courtesy Photo

Julia and Paul Child loved Valentine's Day.

A rare lot of greeting cards penned by beloved American chef Julia Child and her husband Paul are up for auction. Some fans might recognize the iconic bathtub photo of the couple covered in bubbles with a heart-shaped stamp between their heads reading, “Wish you were here.” Bidding for the 9-by-7-inch snapshot — complete with a Valentine’s Day message from their cat, Minette — starts at $1,500, but is expected to soar much higher.

Eight Valentine’s Day cards and other correspondences will be auctioned off on May 19 via Written Word Autographs on invaluable.com. Each authentic message was sent from the Child family between 1949 and 1965 to their friends Paul Mowrer, who won the first Pulitzer Prize for Correspondence in 1929 while writing for the Chicago Daily News, and Hadley Mowrer, who had previously been the first wife of Ernest Hemingway. Paul and Hadley married in 1933.

julia child auction

Courtesy Photo


One particular piece of stationery for sale comes from Julia and Paul’s former Cambridge, Massachusetts, home. The yellowing paper, which comes with three accompanying photos, is scribbled with a lovely culinary poem full of electric imagery. It reads:

Trivets are not trivia

Though they lie beneath the tea,

Beneath the soup, beneath the trout,

Beneath the fricassee.

So we rejoice, as triveters,

To have your lovely gift

Whereon to place our poulet chaud

And where, with movement swift;

To slide the bubbling bouillabaisse,

The steaming eels, the roast,

The veau orloff, the Béarnaise,

The coffee and the toast.

Instead of breaking sparkling wine

Upon its lowly prow

We’ll christen it by breaking fast

And that, you must allow,

Is fitting, right and suitable —

And so, nos amis chers,

We thank you both for sending us

That little wooden square.

Paul x Julia. December 31, 1964

julia child auction

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Although this note was written over winter, Julia and Paul were enamored with romance and Valentine’s Day. In the 1950s in Paris, they would spend as much of their time crafting original Valentine’s cards as Julia would perfecting her soufflé, according to Written Word.

julia child auction

Courtesy Photo

Julia and Paul while visiting their friends, Paul and Hadley Mowrer, in Chocorua, New Hampshire.


“Valentines cards had become a tradition of ours, born of the fact that we could never get ourselves organized in time to send out Christmas cards,” Julia wrote in her posthumously published memoir, My Life in France.

julia child auction

Courtesy Photo


The world-renowned cook — who died from kidney failure in 2004 — is best known for her expertise in French cuisine as exhibited in many cookbooks and television programs, the most famous of which was called The French Chef. Fans who’d like to own an intimate piece of culinary history can bid on these lovely autographed photos, postcards, and other greetings starting May 19 at 11 a.m. ET. For more on the culinary icon who had top-secret duties in World War II, here are 9 things you didn't know about Julia Child.

Related Links
What Chefs Eat for Breakfast Slideshow10 Ways Julia Child Changed the WorldThe Best Discontinued Snack Foods From the Decade You Were Born10 Romantic Holidays That Aren't Valentine's Day

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