Ah, the fancies and fripperies of a Victorian Valentine! Lace and bows, flowers and…dead birds? Yes, apparently so. According to the fascinating blog The Working Life of Museum of London,
By the mid nineteenth century some valentine traditions had already been established and card makers adapted these to their designs. Springtime rebirth, flowers, birds and rhymes were already popular valentine motifs by this time, and the sentimental Victorian image of cupid was not far behind. Paper scraps were collaged with hand-painted illustration and lace paper to build up the cards, some of which are several centimetres deep. Birds were such a favourite motif that some of cards in the collection went as far as integrating stuffed birds into their collages.
Oh, how sweet. Just what every woman wants.