A VERY Victorian Colored Courting Lithograph, perhaps a Valentine’s, with a unique Cut Paper (Scherenschnitte) matte overlaid on a piece of colored paper. The litho, which dates c. 1875 or so, shows a young couple in a rose garden and it includes a rather “Schmaltzy” verse: Would I might kiss thou crimson lip With honied smiles o’erflowing Would I might watch the opening rose Upon thy soft cheek glowing.
I wish I might a rosebud grow And then would’st cull me from the bower And place me on they breast of snow Where I might bloom a wintry flower (Tell me, truthfully, people, would you like to receive, or send, that kind of greeting today?)
The image measures 7 7/8” x 10 ¼” and is framed in a very nice, period Empire frame (overall frame size is 12 ¼” x 14 ½”). I do not know if this was a stand-alone print that has been framed or if it was cut from a book (I have not had it out of the frame). It is in very fine condition with only some very minor soiling at the lower right (no rips or tears, etc.), and a horizontal center fold that is not terribly obvious. The colors are very strong. The matte is wonderful, with the cut-paper trellis of flowers and leaves, each with molded or pressed ribbing and then overlaid on a piece of colored paper. I believe the matte to be original to the print and I have not seen anything similar on another framed piece. Something for your “Sweetie” to remember you by this coming Valentine’s!