VICTORIANA. Mr Punch Birthday Card. 1875.
12mo, chromolithograph laid down on lace-edged card featuring Mr Punch and his dog Toby and the legend 'KIND CONGRATULATIONS'; small pen name ('Charlie', presumably recipient) at base of card but very good.
A Victorian playing card with a design of legendary character Punch. Birthday cards began being given approximately in the 1840s so this is a relatively early example of the genre. As The Strand said, in an article of 1891, 'though the motto is the principal consideration, a pretty and fanciful surrounding is by no means to be despised…' in this case the card moves away from the common flowery or religious imagery and adopts the cartoonish approach more common today.