Monday, December 5, 2011

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: "May Christmas Bring Delight," 1850

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Well, since it's that time of year, let's take a look at some items which put us in mind of holiday cheer. Here's a pretty Christmas card from 1850 which shows that mistletoe has been part of popular culture for a long time. In fact, the tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe originates in an old Norse practice of enemies calling a truce under mistletoe--sealing their pledge with a kiss. How sweet. The kiss symbolized an exchange of souls. Even sweeter. In addition to representing peace and reconciliation, mistletoe was thought to have medicinal and healing properties.

In this chromolithograph, we see two elfin figures--one donning a blue "bobble hat," engaged in a kiss. An inscription "May Christmas Bring Delight" is incorporated into the design as each of the small figures appears to be both floating above and supported by the oversized sprigs of mistletoe.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I love this!