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Cut paper design

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1835 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    cut paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs C. E. L. Bryant

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 15

Object Type
This album contains 58 examples of cut paper work, a popular pastime from the late 17th century, requiring time, skill and patience in the use of small scissors, knives and even pins. The art was practised by the most modest of people up to the grandest in the country, including Queen Anne to Queen Victoria. Many amateurs created often quite elaborate albums in which to keep their work. The designs in this album are quite simply and roughly done, and probably are the work of a child or a beginner.

Ownership & Use
The album's 58 cut paper designs include subjects ranging from baskets of fruit and flowers, rabbits, dogs and birds, to more complicated scenes of deer hunting, a woman in a rocking chair and a man on a desert island with a dog and gun. Although the designs are crude, they have been carefully sewn together to form an album of sorts, possibly as a gift. This group demonstrates the amount of time, labour and application that could be lavished on such leisure pursuits.

These designs have been cut in white paper and stuck onto shiny black paper. The album dates from about 1835, by which date such paper would have been commercially available. Earlier artists had had to blacken paper with soot or ink.

Physical description

Design in cut paper mounted on black commercially made paper, mounted in an album with 57 others.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


ca. 1835 (made)



Materials and Techniques

cut paper


Height: 12.3 cm album, Width: 24 cm album, open, Depth: 7.5 cm maximum

Descriptive line

Anonymous. Decorative design in cut paper work, English, c.1835

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1938, London: Board of Education, 1939.


Paper; Pencil


Cut paper work


Books; Designs; Handicrafts


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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