L. Prang Valentine Cards – Description Of 1883 Selection


Messrs. Prang lead off their line of valentines this year with a novelty which will commend itself to the most fastidious.

It is entitled “A Garland of Love,” and combines in book form all that the art of the painter and color printer could lavish upon it. The volume contains a series of 12 exquisite poems by Emily  Shaw Forman, which are illustrated by Fidelia Bridges with delicate artistic titles and full-page illustrations, remarkable alike for their appropriateness, and the deep thought of which they give evidence.

The verses are entitled ” The Dawn of Love,” illustrated by spring flowers : “Concealment,” by May flowers; “Preference,” by peach blossoms ; ” Poetry of Love,” by sweet brier ; ” Message,” by iris ; “Thoughts,” by pansies ; “Devotion,” by sunflowers and heliotrope ; ” Jealousy,” by mushroom ; ” Hopes and Fears,” by columbines; “Silence,” by water-lilies ; ” Forgetfulness,” by poppies ; and ” Constancy,” by ivy.

The volume is bound in hand-woven Japanese silk, in many patterns and colors, and the leaves are fastened together with silk cord terminating in unique tassels. The title, in running-hand script, is in silver and placed on the cover diagonally.

The book is enclosed in a strong box covered with imitation Japanese leather, and constructed in such a manner that the souvenir may be readily handled without removing it from the box.

Taking it all in all the publishers seem to have reached the climax in gifts of this description with the ” Garland of Love.” We must not forget to add that on account of its expensiveness, ” A Garland of Love ” is printed in a limited edition and is sold to only one dealer in each locality.

Another message of love deserving especial mention is their ” Aubert ” Valentine, so named after the French artist, Aubert, who designed the picture of the beautiful ideal female head reproduced for it. It is a large folding card, with chaste and elegant front and back. Opening the card, one side contains a wreath of flowers designed by Miss Fidelia Bridges, printed on satin in a mat, with verses by Mrs. K. S. Forman. Facing this is the design by Aubert, referred to. The card is fringed with heavy double silk fringe, has a leatherette protector, and is put up in a neat box. They also reissue this year their No. 122 F. Satin Print Valentine, four figure designs, by Miss L. B.’Humphrey, printed on satin and richly trimmed with silk and fancy fringes.

The new valentine cards issued by this house for the present season comprise two sections—Book No. 1 containing the new line of eighteen different series, and Book No. 2, which consists of fifteen series from last year, which |are offered as far as the stock on hand will last i at greatly reduced prices.

The new line begins with No. 201, a small square card, with six designs of flowers and birds, charmingly conceived. It is quiet in color, unassuming in its plain drab border, and has very suitable and chaste inscriptions. For a cheap card nothing neater can be desired. No. 202 is a much larger card, with six floral designs on a green ground, with a darker green border. No. 204 presents two most charming children’s heads by Rose Mueller in a frame formed by the snow-laden branches of a wintry tree. No. 209 shows two fine figure designs of “Cupids at Play,” by F. S. Church ; Nos. 210 and 211 are figure and flower designs by Miss L. B. Humphrey and Miss I,. B. Comins, intended for children. No. 212 is a large card showing on a delicately tinted ground four exquisite floral wreaths by Felicia Bridges. Nos. 213 and 215 are figure-pieces intended for older or married people.

The backs of all these cards deserve especial mention as being superior to any they have ever put on this line of cards. They show a delicacy of color, an appropriateness of design, and a chastity of conception which cannot be too highly praised, and give to the designs of the cards a tasty finish. The foregoing of course are but u few of the designs offered, the general criticism on which is that they show the same artistic merit and care in printing for which all the wprk turned out by this house is renowned.

It may be remarked, that these goods are again packed as heretofore, viz. : twelve assorted cards to a set ; all sets costing above $i.80 accompanied by envelopes, without extra charge ; no sets are broken costing less than $3 long. Again most of the cards are made up in three styles, viz., single, single-fringed and double-fringed.

Source: The publishers weekly, 1883

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