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Satirical Christmas card - Wishing You an Utterly Charming Time
  • Wishing You an Utterly Charming Time
    Albert Ludovici II, born 1852 - died 1932
  • Enlarge image

Wishing You an Utterly Charming Time

  • Object:

    Satirical Christmas card

  • Place of origin:

    London (printed and published)

  • Date:

    1881 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Albert Ludovici II, born 1852 - died 1932 (artist)
    Hildesheimer & Faulkner (printer and publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph on card

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Guy Tristram Little

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 68, box D

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

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.

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.

Place of Origin

London (printed and published)


1881 (made)


Albert Ludovici II, born 1852 - died 1932 (artist)
Hildesheimer & Faulkner (printer and publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph on card


Height: 12.5 cm unframed, Width: 8.5 cm

Object history note

Designed by Albert Ludovici, II (born in Prague, 1852, died in 1932); printed and published by Hildesheimer & Faulkner, London

Descriptive line

Albert Ludovici. A slouched man with lilies. One of four cards from the "Quite too-too!" set, published by Hildesheimer & Faulkner, London, 1881.

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

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1953 London: HMSO, 1963

Labels and date

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]


Lithographic ink


Colour lithography

Subjects depicted



Greeting cards; Satire; Caricatures & Cartoons; Christmas; Prints; Gender and Sexuality; Interiors; Furniture; Fans


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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