THE JOHN and CAROLYN GROSSMAN COLLECTIONThe
Winterthur Library at the Winterthur Museum & Country Estate
Route 52, Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware 19735.
Image Gallery 3
Victorians adored celebrations
of romance: first loves, weddings, anniversaries and of course Valentine's Day. To help observe these occasions, they popularized
the exchange of greeting cards. Lovers of all ages gave, received and cherished cards decorated with colorful die cut images,
intricate lace paper, elaborate pop-out designs and moveable parts. Of special note in John's collection are the considerable
holdings of works by English Valentine manufacturers including Joseph Addenbrooke, H. Dobbs & Co., George Kershaw, Joseph
Mansell, George Meek and John Windsor, and by American Valentine manufacturers Esther Howland and George Whitney.
only is baseball an icon of American traditions, it is a favorite perennial theme of American advertising. This selection
of cigar box labels, trade cards, score cards, tickets and diecut scraps from about 1880 to 1915, captures baseball soon after
the first professional league was formed in America in 1876. Along with other baseball ephemera in John's collection, these
images beautifully illustrate the sport's history from its early days as a struggling form of public entertainment to its
remarkable achievement as America's number one spectator sport by 1915.
As suggested by the variety of fishing images
on these cigar box labels, trade cards. Victorians found diversion and relaxation at their favorite fishing holes. Wealthy
anglers traveled to mountain camps or rural vacation homes to fish in crystal blue lakes and streams. Those less fortunate
gathered at nearby creeks, ponds and rivers to catch local delicacies or spin tall tales of the ones that got away.
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A Victorian Christmas was filled
with paper ephemera. From books and board games to cards and candy containers, paper products were readily available. Some
holiday items featured traditional images like Santa filling stockings, snow angels holding candles, children caroling, wreaths
of holly, angelic nativity scenes and jolly snowmen. Others were decorated with nontraditional, fantasy and sometimes bizarre
images including Santa riding motorcars, cats throwing snowballs, pine trees kissing, fairies bearing gifts, mice decorating
trees and a devil figure named Krampus transporting bad children to a firey underworld.
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