Chicago: Carrington Co., circa 1920s. Die cut pictorial valentine, measuring 5.5 x 4 inches, printed in color and gilt. Faint ink signature ("Marshall") to bottom right corner.
Brightly colored Art Deco valentine, featuring Elizabeth I and her favorite Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, locked in an embrace: “My great aspiration as you probably guess / Is to be like old Essex -- with you my Queen Bess." A surprising subject, given that Elizabeth had Essex beheaded for treason in 1601, and a surprising survival as well.