A Heart I Have …

Cut paper Valentine, 1798


A Heart I have [to] present to you
A Heart that is sincere & true
That never will Incline to join
To any other Heart but Thine.

These opening lines are penned in the first of eight cut paper hearts that make up the inner circle of this fabulous hand-made eighteenth century Valentine. Each heart is penned with a verse followed by an intriguing initial that surely provides a clue to the author and sender of this love token – MISS BELL perhaps but that’s just a guess?! The 7th heart in the sequence is dated 1798.

The hearts are surrounded by a colourful frieze of gaily clad couples holding hands amongst flowers, anchors and red hearts. The anchors may be another clue to the author or the lucky recipient. The outer corners feature birds.

Cut paper with pin-pricking and watercolour. There are inevitably some breaks and small losses to the paper but these are truly minor. The Valentine has been loosely laid on paper and is presented in a period maple veneer frame with a gilt slip. The wooden backing board has an old framer’s label for S. B. Fuller of Rathbone Place, London.

A rare and treasured survivor.

Item Ref. 7581

Size: valentine, approx. 310mm (12") square ; framed, 485 x 443mm (19 x 17½")