Title Large Album of Chromolithographic Holiday and Sentiment Cards with Original and Elaborate Watercolored and Trompe d'Oeil Decoration
Binding Quarter Morocco, Cloth Boards
Book Condition Very Good
Seller ID 003144
Folio-sized, 37 by 28 cm. 57 leaves, each of a card stock, with content exclusively on recto side. N.d., circa 1880s. The interest in this album lies in the ornamentation, which is done often quite cleverly, with floral elements in the cards being carried forward onto the large margins, or occasionally the watercolored decoration being added to and incorporated into the chromolithograph. Unfailingly the border decoration relates in some way to the chromos, and the assemblage of chromos on the page is done purposefully, with a theme or some unifying element. There can be one to five chromos on the page; sometimes most of the space is taken up with the watercolors, and other times, by the cards. It is the fusion of the two wherein lies the artistry, and to this it must be added that the botanical decoration is very well done in the tradition of the best Victorian albums. On a few leaves actual dried leaves are used. Botanical decoration is the most prevalent, but there is some abstract or geometric ornamentation employed, as well as other motives. One of the most striking backgrounds is surely the wood panel trompe d'oeil on one of the pages. The decoration tends to become more ambitious as one proceeds through the book, suggesting whoever did it became more confident and ablel The greatest number of cards are devoted to Christmas, but there are plenty for the New Year as well, and a good number with no holiday in particular. A few of the dried leaves have become loose. Newer endpapers and a leather rebacking. Wear to the boards.