Two C.1900 Prayer Cards for St. Vincent de Paul
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Both Art and I love paper and with Art’s collection from the past 50 years and my collection from the last 30 years, we have a lot of ephemera to offer on Ruby Lane. It is going to take some time to get it all listed, but when we finish, there should be something to tempt anyone who visits the shop. Up for offer now…..
AGE: C.1910 or so
ITEM: 2 religious cards for the same saint - St Vincent de Paul aka Saint Vincent of Pauli. Both cards depict Saint Vincent as the caring man he was, roaming the streets and helping the less fortunate. The cards may have been presented at a First Communion ceremony judging by the pencil notation on the back of one which reads - Ed Havermann.
CONDITION: Very nice with just the "aged" patina that comes with paper being stored for so long.
NOTE: The cards always look better in person than in my scans/photos.
PUBLISHERS INFORMATION: The Pauli card was Made in Italy. The Paul card was printed by Maison Bouasse-Lebel, Paris, Made in France.
HISTORY of BOUASSE: The printing house Maison Bouasse-Lebel was founded by Eulalie Lebel in 1845. Her family had a long history of being in the printing business: her father was a printer and engraver, and her maternal grandfather was a printer and librarian. When Eulalie was a young teenager, her family moved into the Latin Quarter of Paris, in the printing district. Here, she met her husband François-Marie Bouasse, who was also from a printing family. The marriage ended poorly, however, and Eulalie was forced to find a way to support herself and her two sons. She decide to do this by founding her own printing company. Thus, the Maison Bouasse-Lebel was born.
The Maison Bouasse-Lebel encountered financial difficulties in its first years. Although Eulalie and her husband were separated, she was required to pay off his massive debts upon his early death. Gradually, the family got back on their feet and began to turn a profit. Her cards gained popularity, both domestically and internationally. The industry was helped by a resurgence of piety in France during the mid-nineteenth century, which helped sales of holy cards.
In 1852, Eulalie’s son Henri bought the printing house from her. She retained a management advisory position for five years after the sale, but Henri was free to make changes. One of the first things he introduced was the production of items other than religious images. Henri expanded printing to include pictures and images for churches, as well as encyclopedias, maps, and books. He even enlisted the help of the local prison to use their inmates to help create the lace used in their prayer cards. The printing house won many medals for their products at fairs and exhibitions, including at the Universal Exhibition held in Paris in 1855. In 1858, the house signed a contract to produce “objects of piety” for a charity that aimed to bring Christianity to children, initially only in China but then in an expanded list of nations.
SIZE: One is 2-1/2" x 4"; the other is 4-7/16" x 2-1/2".
FINAL COMMENTS: St. Vincent de Paul (24 April 1581 – 27 September 1660) was a French Roman Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor. He was renowned for his compassion, humility, and generosity and is known as the "Great Apostle of Charity". In 1705, the Superior-General of the Lazarists requested that the holy process of Vincent's canonization be instituted. On 13 August 1729, he was declared blessed by Pope Benedict XIII. He was canonized nearly eight years later by Pope Clement XII on 16 June 1737. Feast days are 27 September and 19 July (Roman Calendar, 1737-1969). He is Patron Saint of any charity, horses, hospitals, leprosy, lost articles, prisoners and volunteers of any type.
FURTHER NOTE: I can put an awful lot of paper into one envelope so be assured, if you buy more than 1 piece of paper, I will adjust the postage once I receive the purchase order. And please, don’t pay until I HAVE revised the postage. Thanks.
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