Fide et Virtute

Cut Paper & Watercolour


So much time must have gone into creating this late 18th century cut paper and watercolour armorial featuring a myriad of intricately cut and painted flowers including tulips, roses and daisies with gilded cornucopias of fruit and flowers to each corner. The central coat of arms is surmounted with a lion with trailing garlands and the scrolling motto FIDE ET VIRTUTE translating as Fidelity and Valour.

The cut paper has beenĀ laid on a blue-green silk ground. It is presented in within a gilded slip and rectangular moulded ebonised frame

The art of paper-cutting was fashionable at the Court of George III whose daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was an ardent cutter. Tiny sharp scissors and pointed quill knives were used to cut the paper with great delicacy. Dublin-born Nathaniel Bermingham was perhaps the best-known and most accomplished paper-cutter in eighteenth century England. His work was exhibited at the Society of Artists alongside more conventional art forms. He was described as an “Heraldic painter and artist in the curious art of cutting out Portraits and Coats of Arms with the point of a penknife”. Examples of his work are to be found at the V & A Museum, London.

Item Ref. 3862

Size: framed, 352 x 305mm

Provenance: Ex. Sampson & Horne