|Click on image to forget. Or not.|
Hmmm...where to begin? This isn't a trade card per se. It's not a calling card or even a visiting card. It's simply a pretty little chromolithograph printed on card stock. Now, I do believe that this could have been used as a trade card. It looks like the sort which were available for over-printing or reverse printing through catalogs. But, this just wasn't a run-of-the-mill stock card. This one is beautifully embossed. This would have made printing on the reverse rather awkward, but that never stopped them.
This was the preferred Victorian image-- Cupid or some random putto (or perhaps just a winged baby, who can tell?) surrounded by a variety of symbolic flowers (none of which, oddly enough, is a forget-me-not), sitting on a quasi-funereal plinth, wistfully carving some sweet message into a tabula rassa with one of his arrows. On the plinth below him is inscribed "Forget me Not."
Regardless if this unused card was made as a blank trade card or as a never-used affectionate greeting, it is gorgeously printed. These bright, rich colors are, to me, the epitome of Victorian printing. Furthermore, the embossing is exceptional. A chromolithograph in relief of this quality doesn't seem to be the work of late Nineteenth-Century American printers. I'd say this was European.