United States: circa 1885. Seven color-printed pictorial trade cards, measuring 4 x 2.5 inches, printed recto only: a complete set of six blank templates, and a seventh example with printed advertisement. Lightest handling, tiny chip to upper corner of two cards.
Complete set of six American “aesthetic” trade card templates, referencing Oscar Wilde, Algernon Swinburne, sunflowers, lilies, japonaiserie, velvet jackets, knee breeches, and conspicuously brandished volumes of poetry. Each card features a character and quotation from Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1881 comic operetta Patience, which satirized the Aesthetic Movement. An additional card provides an example of one of these templates in use, as a trade card for a clothier and haberdasher in Mount Vernon, New York. A delightful collection, testifying to the transatlantic reach and appeal of Aestheticism.