New England, possibly Fairfield, Maine, ca. 1830-1851. Attributed to the HEART-AND-HAND ARTIST, possibly Samuel Lawhead. Ink and watercolor on paper. Calling cards, which included only the caller's name, were customary in this period to be presented to the host or hostess on formal visits. Many houses then kept these cards in a basket as a record of visitors. Most calling cards were simply printed, yet those by the heart-in-hand artist are beautifully hand-drawn and personalized, suggesting they were made for special events or persons. This terrific example remains in superb condition with bright, strong colors; a crisp rendering. Intriguingly the bottom of the card bears a fingerprint. The card itself is about 4 1/8 inches long x 3 tall. Presented in a vinegar painted frame, which is not period yet shows the work very well, is about 6 ¾ x 5 ¾ inches. See Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, page 90 for a similar piece.
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