“Good Morning Everybody, Its Christmas – And I Wish You Happiness.”
A perfect card for our Christmas morning, 2015. It shows an illustration of an 19th-Century gentleman doffing his top hat to salute all and sundry this Christmas morn. He appears from the upstairs wooden-framed window, shutter thrown open, and coffee pot resting on the snow-covered window ledge. On second thought, maybe that’s a tankard of ale.
The card is signed but the surname is a little difficult to decipher. After trying multiple possibilities our best guess is Guilbault, so “Joe Guilbault.”
Christmas card, unknown publisher, unknown date.
Price: $4.00 Size: About 3 and 1/8 x 4 and 1/2″
“To-day across the winding miles
This card is flying fast.
To wish you matchless Christmas joys,
And a new year unsurpassed!”
I’m becoming fascinated with seasonal cards that don’t have any of the traditional images. Do we send many out today like that? This one is a great example: a Christmas card just showing an adorable barn swallow (I think) bringing Christmas greetings with the above lovely verse. The bird is flying fast to bring you the message on time, so that makes sense, but the card is not traditionally decorated with trimmed trees, Santa Claus, holly, the manger scene, etc. Come to think of it, I guess we do send out similar ones nowadays, as I have a set of Christmas cards of a bunny in winter scene. But some of the other old ones are quite unusual. Click here for the example I’m thinking of.
Getting back to the subject of barn swallows, an interesting (and very relevant to Laurel Cottage) fact from the website All About Birds, relates that, “…it was the millinery (hat-making) trade’s impact on Barn Swallows that prompted naturalist George Bird Grinnell’s 1886 Forest & Stream editorial decrying the waste of bird life. His essay led to the founding of the first Audubon Society.”
Christmas card with sender’s signature, and thin gold-tone border. Circa 1900 – 1930. Size: 4 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″
Source: “Barn Swallow.” The Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds. Web accessed December 6, 2014. [http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/barn_swallow/lifehistory]