Monday, February 23, 2015

Ephemeral Beauty: A Die-Cut Trade Card for Kensington Work

Click image to enlarge.

Of my collection of ephemera, I have a special fondness for the die-cut cards.  Here's one in the shape of a painter’s palette. I’ve got another one in the same shape which has a ship on the front. This one depicts a rather manipulative looking kitten who looks a bit like Bertie's cat, Miss Oscar.  

Sure, he seems sweet at first glance, but there’s something underneath his expression that makes me think he’s got a switch-blade. Or…not. He also looks a bit like Princess Diana, too. So, I’m torn.

These die-cut cards were available through catalogs and could be customized. This one has been printed on the front with the words:

Compliments of 
MRS. A.W. BELCHER.                                                                         (over) 

Well, if you insist.

The reverse has been custom-printed for an individual operating her own business, which I think is pretty nifty. Let’s see what she has to say.

                I have a fine assortment of new and
artistic designs for Kensington Work, which
you are invited to call and examine. Stitch
taught; work done, or begun: Outlining,
&c., also material for the same. Stamping
to order.

For those who don’t know, Kensington work is a type of embroidery which was revived and became quite fashionable in Victorian England. The stitch resembles the plumage of a bird with a series of overlapping stitches which create a gradation of color. The technique was used to create patterns of flowers, foliage, birds and animals.

Click image to enlarge.
I wonder if Mrs. Belcher is an ancestor of Bob.

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