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TIMELESS SYMBOL CONTINUES TO BLOOM ON VALENTINES

 CLEVELAND, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- No other flower has been as extolled in poetry, art and history as the rose. Since ancient times, roses have been linked with legend. Nebuchadnezzar used them to adorn his palace, and in Persia, rose petals were used to stuff the Sultan's mattress.
 The rose has been a symbol of love and innocence in literature through the ages. Shakespeare referred to roses 70 times, and Shelley heaped roses for his sweetheart's bed.
 According to Ray Kowalski, executive director of design for American Greetings, the romance associated with the rose has also made it one of the most popular motifs for valentines since the eighteenth century.
 "The romance of all flowers, but especially the rose, probably reached a peak in Victorian England," he said. "Inspired by a French book entitled, Le Langage des Fleurs,' the Victorians followed an elaborate 'floral code' which endowed flowers with secret meanings."
 The Cabbage rose was believed to be an "ambassador of love," while a white rose denoted purity and spiritual love. A yellow rose expressed infidelity or a decrease in love, and the Musk rose symbolized "capricious beauty."
 The Victorian floral code even extended to the way in which roses were presented or depicted in artwork. "If the flowers were upside down, the opposite of the original meaning was intended," Kowalski said. "If the ribbon on a bouquet of roses was tied to the left, the meaning referred to the giver, and if to the right, the recipient."
 Cabbage roses and delicate, hand-painted rose bowers were common motifs on handmade Victorian valentines, which often included intricate lace, satin ribbon, glass beads, tiny metal mirrors and even locks of hair.
 Today, the rose continues to be associated with romance. In a recent poll conducted by the Roper Organization, the majority of men and women surveyed described long-stemmed roses as "very romantic."
 "The rose's strong association with romantic love makes it a favored symbol on many modern-day valentines," Kowalski said. "Cards featuring the delicate roses of Swiss watercolorist Anne Marie Trechslin are extremely popular right now, as are Victorian rose motifs and photographic reproductions of roses."
 A red rose has served as the logo of the American Greetings Corporation, headquartered in Cleveland, since 1980. Founded in 1906, the Fortune 300 company is the world's largest publicly owned manufacturer of greeting cards


and related products.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Black and white & color photos, product samples, phone interview with valentine artist or writer available./
 /CONTACT: Laurie Henrichsen, marketing/public relations coordinator of American Greetings, 216-252-4943/


CO: American Greetings ST: Ohio IN: SU:

SM -- NYVFNS9 -- 2702 02/04/93 07:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 4, 1993
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