Love is in the air

So today is Valentine’s Day, and despite not being much of an observer of this holiday, I thought it would be fun to post a few images of recent projects we’ve been working on in the Works on Paper conservation studio that directly relate to the topic of love.

 

Scherenschnitte Valentine

Scherenschnitte is the German word for the art of paper cutting or, more literally, scissor snipping. This traditional folk art form has been around for centuries and continues to be popular today. This scherenschnitte most likely dates to the mid 19th century and was presumably presented as a token of love.

 

Folded Puzzle Valentine (closed)

 

Folded Puzzle Valentine (partially open)

This second valentine was very fun to work on as part of the challenge was figuring out how to safely open and then refold the paper. My assistant and I documented each step with a photograph and also made a copy of the valentine so we could practice refolding before completing the treatment on the actual object.

 

early 19th-century valentine

This last valentine is my personal favorite. I love the geometric pattern and the the text is so sweet. You may notice the dark staining at the top of the paper – this is because the name of the giver of the valentine was aggressively scratched out with brown ink. I especially like this added bit of intrigue.