A rare Valentine card sent a year before the Battle of Waterloo has been discovered in a routine house clearance in Staffordshire by auctioneer Charles Hanson.

"The Valentine card is beautifully preserved and was sent on 10 February, 1814, to a lady called Betsy Kilely," said Mr Hanson, manager of Hanson's auctions.

"The context of the card is intriguing since the unknown sender writes, 'I choosed you out of half a score, and the choice of many more, none of them all could please my mind.

'For you I let them all behind, you are the only one I do admire, nothing but love I do desire.'

"The hand inscription finishes, 'So no more at present from your ever affectionate friend and lover I will leave you to guess.'

"Such a paper Valentine card was popular in England from the early 1800s," said Mr Hanson, who also appears on the popular BBC programme Bargain Hunt. 

The unknown sender has written "do not destroy this Valentine till you see me."

The one of a kind item is hand painted on the other side with a cupid and a courting couple. Below is a sailing vessel and a couple on the shore line.

The unique card, which turned up in Burton upon Trent, will be sold at Hansons antique and collectors auction on August 19, estimated at £150-200.

"We hope love knows no boundaries and the card will be well received by collectors of ephemera and romance," said Mr Hanson.

The sale will be held at Mackworth Hotel, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, UK. Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers are based in Derbyshire and have a valuation centre in Staffordshire.

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