Saturday, December 22, 2012

Object of the Day: Edna's Poinsettia

Click image to see Edna's handiwork.

One of the huge lots of ephemera that I purchased a few months ago seems to have been collected by someone named Edna. Edna seems to have started her collection of trade cards, postcards and scraps at an early age. She appears to have been very proud of her collection and made sure that no one else dared take her precious paper. Edna wrote her name on most everything that was hers. Some of the signatures are loopy, child-like scrawls. Some are confident adult signatures. All of them simply say, “Edna.” Edna liked her ephemera. I can only imagine that this huge lot was just a small portion of what Edna left behind. She must have been just a girl in the 1870s. There’s no telling how long she lived. I know nothing about her except that we shared a taste for the same kinds of things and that she was, in her own right, a talented artist.

How do I know this?

Because of this.

It’s Edna’s poinsettia. This delicate, brilliantly-colored watercolor is yellowed with age, but still shows Edna’s talent. It was carefully cut from a tablet and saved amongst all of her treasures. She signed her name to it.

And, I’m glad.

I wonder how Edna would feel knowing that a stranger, some guy in Texas in 2012 (!) is proud to have all the little pieces of paper she collected. I like to think she’d be pleased. And, I’m sure she’d be happy to know that with this handsome drawing, she’d not only wished me a Merry Christmas from over a century ago, but also, now, all of you.

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