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Preparatory drawing for a comic valentine: P.14345-R-4

An image of Valentine card

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Preparatory drawing for a comic valentine


Publisher: S. Marks & Sons




A preparatory drawing in graphite with tonal contrasts in grey wash on cream wove paper for a comic valentine. The male figure depicted appears to be a bookbinder. He stands at a table holding two large books. He wears an apron and a square, box-like hat on his oversized head. A pen and ink inscription at upper left: "Mr Marks Sir / I hope thou will pleas[sic] / have the goodness [...] / the cash. Mr B hard up". A steel nail is pinned through the upper left corner of the paper, which goes through the album leaf behind. One of a group bought at a sale, the catalogue clipping affixed to the same album leaf: "749 - Original wash Valentine Drawings - A collection of 8 executed for Messrs. Marks & Co. by BRITTAIN ...". This group of valentines was bought in 1924 from the bookseller, R.S. Frampton who was based at "Walton House", 37 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4. The bookseller's catalogue (No. 35), with several lot descriptions cut from it, was found in boxes containing Glaisher's valentines. See P.14529-R. See also P.14345-R-3 and P.14345-R-5 - P.14345-R-10, for the other valentines in this group. This drawing is mentioned in a letter from Glaisher to Catherine Parsons: 'Among the Valentines there should be one from Mr Britain, a sketch of a rude one sent to the publisher with a note in Mrs B's ill[.......] handwriting "Mr B hard up". I did not notice it yesterday, but it may be among them.'. Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 890-1985, September 7th, 1924, letter to Miss Catherine Parsons. Glaisher often referred to comic valentines as either 'rude' or 'ugly'. The drawings were probably produced for S. Marks & Sons, who specialised in comic valentines during the 1850s. The artist, 'Brittain' is unknown.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Dr J. W. L. Glaisher, 1928

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


19th century
Circa 1850 - Circa 1860

School or Style


Techniques used in production

Wash (grey)

Identification numbers

Accession number: P.14345-R-4
Primary reference Number: 214289
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 14 February 2017 Updated: Friday 26 January 2018 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Preparatory drawing for a comic valentine" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-07 14:01:32

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