Figures with Pansies

[LACE PAPER VALENTINE]. Figures with Pansies.

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[LACE PAPER VALENTINE]. Figures with Pansies. [c.1880]

Medium-sized textured paper Valentine (16cm x 12cm approx.) printed in pink, red and gilt; overlaid with lace paper design and coloured ornaments - a cherub, a girl holding a bouquet and some pansies; printed poem inside, with decorative motifs; a wonderfully fresh example, some faint marks and rubbing to rear allowing the paper lines to show; a near-fine example.
Verse inside reads:
"Since all fair things in
Nature speak to me,
Sweetheart, of thee,
I have sent Cupid
out along the way
That thou wilt come to-day
To make each twig and tree
Valentine from-
This card bears no makers mark, but it is possible that it was originally manufactured by one of the leading American card companies as a 'build your own' kit. With the popularity in the sending of Valentine's increasing in the late 19th century, but with individuals still wanting to create someithng personal, firms such as George Whitney created 'Valentine Material Kits' which came with various couloured and lace papers, as well as ornaments to cut out and stick where the sender wished. In this way, many cards of the period came to be completely original designs, but without buying all of the component parts seperately, and at a higher price.