Here is a group of FOUR charming turn-of-the-20th century "Sunbonnet Babies" antique prints by Bertha Louise Corbett, complete with their original glass and pasteboard backs. They are in extremely good condition with bright colors and no stains. Each print shows two girls in bouffant dresses wearing oversize bonnets that hide their faces. The girls are working together, doing chores on different days : Wash Day, Mending Day, Cleaning Day and Baking Day.

Created from original paintings by Bertha Corbett, whose name appears on the lower corner of each, these prints are originals from one of "The Juvenile Industries of the Week" sets of prints that Corbett painted in 1904 and arranged to have published by the J. I. Austen Company of Chicago, Illinois. Each has the name of the chore day printed at the center bottom. "Copyright 1904" also is printed on all of them, but on "Cleaning Day" most of it (on the bottom right corner) is covered by the black framing tape.

SIZE is 8-1/4 inches wide by 6-1/4 inches tall. Each has its original hanging wire still attached to the back. We believe the glass is original. The black fabric edge tape replaced original black fabric tape that had worn almost completely away.

BACKGROUND from Wikipedia: Sunbonnet Babies are characters created by commercial artist Bertha Louise Corbett, who first drew them in 1897 and then self-published the characters in numerous forms. They are a fantastic example of an accomplished female entrepreneur generating a highly successful, 30-year career for herself in a heavily male-dominated industry. Sunbonnet Babies featured two girls in dresses and pinafore aprons whose faces were always covered by sunbonnets. Thanks to accomplished marketing by Corbett (later Bertha Corbett Melcher after her 1910 marriage to George Melcher), they appeared in books, illustrations and advertisements between the years of 1900 and 1930. Sunbonnet Babies were later used as a popular quilting pattern also known as Sunbonnet Sue.

Bertha Louise Corbett was born in Denver, Colorado in 1872 and moved with her family to Minneapolis, Minnesota in the 1880s. The radical idea of the characters with faces being covered by sunbonnets apparently was Melcher's answer to a friend’s challenge to convey emotion without a face -- they clearly communicate with body position. She passed away in 1950.

Screen Print
8.25" (21 cm)
6.25" (16 cm)
United States • American
Early 20th Century

Time's Treasures Railroad & Country

Group of FOUR Sunbonnet Babies 1904 "Juvenile Industries" Prints Ready to Hang ~ Bertha Corbett Melcher


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