Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case GG, Shelf 68, Box D

Wishing You an Utterly Charming Time

Satirical Christmas Card
1881 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

"Object Type
This card is one of a series of prize-winning greetings cards printed by colour lithography.

Time
The set of cards of which this card is a part parodied the Aesthetic Movement, including its followers' style of dress and particular love of lilies and oriental objects. The printers, Hildesheimer and Faulkner, described the series in 1882, 'A. Ludovici contributes some clever satirical sketches of Esthetes, then in the time of Patience", the favourite butts for mild ridicule'. 'Patience' here refers to the Gilbert and Sullivan comic-opera whose lyrics included a description of an aesthetic young man:

'A Japanese young man
A blue and white young man
Francesca di Rimini miminy piminy
Je-ne-sais-quoi young man!

A pallid and thin young man
A haggard and lank young man
A greenery-yallery Grosvenor Gallery
Foot-in-the-grave young man!'

The card's title compares to a poem published by the magazine Punch in the previous year (1881) which ended with a reference to Oscar Wilde:

'And many a maiden will mutter
When Oscar Looms large on her sight
He's quite too consummately utter
As well as too utterly quite'.

Materials & Making
Greetings cards began to be first printed by colour lithography in the 1860s. Until this point the cards were generally handmade. With the advent of steam-powered presses and other technological improvements it was possible to mass-produce comparatively cheap colour-printed images for the first time.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleQuite Too-Too (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Colour lithograph on card
Brief Description
Albert Ludovici. A slouched man with lilies. One of four cards from the "Quite too-too!" set, published by Hildesheimer & Faulkner, London, 1881.
Physical Description
Satirical card showing an aesthete in artistic dress. A man, lounging at a table admiring lilies in a vase. A Japanese fan is mounted on the wall behind him.
Dimensions
  • Unframed height: 12.5cm
  • Width: 8.5cm
Dimensions checked: measured; 10/10/2000 by PaperCons
Gallery Label
British Galleries: GREETINGS CARDS caricaturing the Aesthetic style
Inexpensive printed cards with Aesthetic themes like these show how widely recognised the movement had become by the 1880s. In one, the title and the pose of the young man ridicule the intensity of emotions associated with such individuals as Oscar Wilde. In the other, the importance of art for its own sake is made fun of with the woman's intense interest in an everyday object, a teapot. Her fashionable clothing shows the influence of classical dress.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Guy Tristram Little
Object history
Designed by Albert Ludovici, II (born in Prague, 1852, died in 1932); printed and published by Hildesheimer & Faulkner, London
Subject depicted
Summary
"Object Type
This card is one of a series of prize-winning greetings cards printed by colour lithography.

Time
The set of cards of which this card is a part parodied the Aesthetic Movement, including its followers' style of dress and particular love of lilies and oriental objects. The printers, Hildesheimer and Faulkner, described the series in 1882, 'A. Ludovici contributes some clever satirical sketches of Esthetes, then in the time of Patience", the favourite butts for mild ridicule'. 'Patience' here refers to the Gilbert and Sullivan comic-opera whose lyrics included a description of an aesthetic young man:

'A Japanese young man
A blue and white young man
Francesca di Rimini miminy piminy
Je-ne-sais-quoi young man!

A pallid and thin young man
A haggard and lank young man
A greenery-yallery Grosvenor Gallery
Foot-in-the-grave young man!'

The card's title compares to a poem published by the magazine Punch in the previous year (1881) which ended with a reference to Oscar Wilde:

'And many a maiden will mutter
When Oscar Looms large on her sight
He's quite too consummately utter
As well as too utterly quite'.

Materials & Making
Greetings cards began to be first printed by colour lithography in the 1860s. Until this point the cards were generally handmade. With the advent of steam-powered presses and other technological improvements it was possible to mass-produce comparatively cheap colour-printed images for the first time.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1953 London: HMSO, 1963
Collection
Accession Number
E.2413-1953

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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