Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: May You Have a Quite Too Happy Time, 1882

The Victoria & Albert Museum

I now want to sign all correspondence, "May you have a quite too happy time." In addition to that perfectly sweet phrase, this card was one of a series of prize-winning greeting cards applauded for its color lithography.

The set of cards was intended to parody the Aesthetic Movement which promoted a fondness for Chinese and Japanese objects, plants, and flowers. Among the objects idealized by followers of the Aesthetic Movement, teapots were the most popular. This card satirized the fascination with teapots in particular.

This is the work of Albert Ludovici II who was inspired by George du Maurier. Du Maurier drew numerous cartoons satirizing the Aesthetic Movement for "Punch" magazine (yay!), including a famous cartoon entitled "The Six-Mark Teapot."

In the aforementioned cartoon, the "Aesthetic Bridegroom" and his "intense Bride" are looking at a teapot. The groom announces, "'It is quite consummate, is it not?" and the bride responds '"It is, indeed! Oh, Algernon, let us live up to it!"

No comments: