[OVERSIZED VALENTINE.] "Love's Token": Early Galalith Lute with Cloth, Ribbon and String Detail. [c.1906]
Homemade Valentine (33 x 17cm approx); heavy card stock, onto which has been pasted a border of floral pleated fabric; central, and attached with metal pins, is a stringed instrument design made from an early form of plastic, with duo-tone string, gilt penwork and the words 'Love's token'; a ribbon bow attached to the headstock, and a circular image of a couple, pasted underneath the soundhole; '1906' written in pencil to rear; a little browned on the verso, with the odd mark; some creasing to corners of board, in one or two places the top layer has peeled off, but this is marginal. A highly unusual example.
A curious valentine, made of an unknown plastic material. If created in 1906, as the pencil mark to rear claims, then it pre-dates the invention of Bakelite, and so must be made from a substance such as Galalith or Celluloid, both early types of plastic which could be moulded into various shapes but were slightly less hard-wearing.
To be frank, one of the most hideous things we have ever seen.