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May you have a Quite Too Happy 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:

    E.2415-1953

  • 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.

Time
The set of cards of which this is a part parodied the Aesthetic Movement, with its followers' love of Chinese and Japanese objects and certain plants, such as lilies and sunflowers. Their fascination with tea pots was satirised in particular. George du Maurier drew a number of cartoons satirising the Aesthetic Movement for 'Punch' magazine, including a cartoon entitled 'The Six-Mark Teapot'. In it, the 'Aesthetic Bridegroom' and his 'Intense Bride' are looking at a teapot. He declares 'It is quite consummate, is it not?' and she replies 'It is, indeed! Oh, Algernon, let us live up to it!'. Similarly in the contemporary play by F.C. Burnand, 'The Colonel', the leading character says, 'There is so much to be learned from a teapot'.

People
This is from a set of prize-winning designs by Albert Ludovici II (1852-1932). A number of printers awarded annual prizes for novel greeting card designs in order to acquire new designs for their next season's collection.

Physical description

Satirical card showing an aesthete in artistic dress. A woman in a terracotta-pink dress with high waist and puffed sleeves and black satin poke-bonnet with orange feathers holding a big brown teapot. Behind her, a Japanese four-fold screen with cranes painted on it and a blue and white porcelain vase with lilies on a table.

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

Dimensions

Height: 12.5 cm unframed, Width: 8.5 cm

Object history note

Designed by Albert Ludovici, II (born in Prague,1852, died in1932); printed and published by Hildesheimer & Faulkner, London
Designed by Albert Ludovici, II (born in Prague, 1852, died in 1932); printed and published by Hildesheimer & Faulkner, London

Descriptive line

Albert Ludovici. An aesthetic lady with a teapot. 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]

Materials

Lithographic ink

Techniques

Colour lithography

Categories

Greeting cards; Satire; Caricatures & Cartoons; Christmas; Prints; Gender and Sexuality; Interiors; Furniture; Women's clothes; Hats & headwear

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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