Exquisite, Unusual Late 18th/Early 19th C Pinprick and Watercolor Love Token

Regular price $325.00

This exquisite thing is many times better in person, where you can clearly see every tiny pin prick in the paper (details give a better sense.) All those tiny pricked holes really amplify its graphicness and impart it with an intimate sort of intensity (or intense sort of intimacy)--and my goodness, wha a lot of labor and care invested in it. I'm just back from the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair as I write this--not where I purchased this, but where I found the prices on early hand-done works on paper of this ilk very very steep, reminding me that there are a very limited number of these sorts of things out there, and certainly no other quite like this one. I believe it would be proper to call this a love token, late 1700s/early 1800s, and an unusual one as far as I've seen for incorporating pinprick decoration in addition to watercolor. This same sort of folding was used to make "paper purses" that would be presented folded into squares or pinwheels, then unfolded to reveal designs, often puzzles or rebuses, on the hidden flaps. 

14 1/4" x 14 1/4" framed, as found, in antique gold painted frame where it has clearly lived for a very long time. Sight: 12 1/4" x 12 1/4". Very good condition, many times better in person. Frame is wired for hanging. The paper shows its original fold lines, on the diagonals, into eighths and one additional crease, or perhaps a joining of two pieces of paper ; not a flaw in the glass.