Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Object of the Day: A Merry Christmas from Sellen & Co.

Click on image to enlarge.

Sellen & Co. of 92 and 94 Pine Street in Williamsport, Pennsylvania wants to wish us a Merry Christmas…from the past.

To do this, they’ve employed the image of a young lass with rosy cheeks. That’s not atypical for trade cards and greetings cards of the mid to late Nineteenth Century. But, there’s something slightly…off…about the scene. She appears to be frantically picking flowers. The urgency of the scene is heightened by the fleeing hare who, with a look of sheer alarm on his face, seems to be running off to tell the “powers that be” that their flowers are in danger.

To be fair, this card is obviously not meant to be a Christmas card. It’s the usual Victorian trade card. Someone from Sellen & Co. has stamped the card with the Christmas greeting. I just wonder why…why this particular scene? Did they run out of snow scenes? Were there no more pictures of candles or praying hands? All the Santas were gone? 

We’ll never know. 

But, I like to think that the Sellen Stamper would be pleased to know that his or her choice was appreciated and that the message was still being shared over a century later.

And, hopefully, since this is preserved in my collection of ephemera, it'll last for quite a lot longer.

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