As I was rummaging through a second-hand store, I came across four small wooden hexagon souvenir frames with a recessed circular 19th Century homestead illustration printed in the center. At the time, I was more interested in hexagon wooden frame and was going to do away with the reproduced print, but then I noticed at the bottom of each print there was a maker’s mark. Of course, I had to google search Currier & Ives to see was this was all about. I was totally thrilled with the findings!
Currier and Ives were two guys that went into business together in New York City. Their company was in operation from 1834-1907 that’s 72 years! The firm called themselves ‘the grand central depot for cheap and popular prints’ and advertised themselves as ‘colored engravings for the people.’ They hired many celebrated artists of the day who created scenic homesteads, sports, landscapes to name a few. Lithograph prints were then hand painted by a team of artist. Frances Flora Tait, who worked on picturesque American landscapes, was the first woman in the United States to make her living as a full-time artist. Currier and Ives Company published 7,500 lithograph originals and produced more than a million prints. Think about it that was more than 100 years ago folks and manual labor!
At that point, I decided to keep the replica prints in the wooden frame! I choose to enhance these neglected pieces by assembling my pine cone plush birds that nest in the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter within the late eighteen hundreds homestead scene.