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Valentine card: P.14346-R-4

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Valentine card


Publisher: Unknown




Aquatint and etching with hand-colouring on 4to-sized embossed white wove paper. From 'The Despondent Lover' (or 'The Unrequited Love') series. The border is lightly embossed with a design of leaves and flowers with a gap at upper centre where the lines of verse have been etched: "Fairy to her my passion move / Whisper 'neath her ringlets that I love / Fairy, on her moulded bosom press / Thy rosy fingers to yield a happiness." An inner etched border with hand-colouring of a design featuring putti, fairies and birds of paradise surrounds the central image which shows a young woman wearing a feathered hat and holding a sealed letter in her left hand. Three putti climb around her shoulders trying to reach it. The inside pages are blank. This is the same number from the series as P.14346-R-L3. Frank Staff says of the series: 'The central picture of each shows a delightful aquatint, beautifully coloured and finished by hand. Although some of the scenes depict young ladies in grief, and one shows a jilted lover, not all of them are unhappy. ... The set numbers fourteen in all, which was recognised as the regular "valentine dozen".' The series was originally published in the 1830s, it is presumed, by Joseph Addenbrooke. However, according to Frank Staff: 'It has been noted that a set of this series is known on paper watermarked '1828', with Addenbrooke's name imprinted. Some time later, it seems likely that the plates came into someone else's possession, who filed off Addenbrooke's name from them and reprinted the entire series on un-watermarked paper. This could explain the plentiful supply still available and the comparatively worn state of the embossing on some copies.' See, Frank Staff, _The Valentine & Its Origins_, Lutterworth Press, London, 1969, figure 64, p. 60 and pp. 62-3. The Glaisher examples are on un-watermarked paper and without a maker's stamp and are most likely later reprints. The Museum of London holds examples of these prints, which are later reprints made by Jonathan King and they date them circa 1870-1885.

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
Production date: after AD 1828

School or Style


Techniques used in production

Hand colouring

Identification numbers

Accession number: P.14346-R-4
Primary reference Number: 214390
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 14 February 2017 Updated: Friday 26 January 2018 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Valentine card" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-03-04 08:15:58

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{{cite web|url= |title=Valentine card |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-03-04 08:15:58|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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