Monday, January 17, 2011

CHLOE PRESTON - Master of Intricate Honeycombed Cards


To One I Love.
3 7/8" x 3"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Children and an Elephant
Standing, 2 Layered Card


To My Sweetheart ~ Just these few words from me, Wherever thou may be, Forget-me-not.
3 3/8" x 2 1/4" x 6"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Girl in Hat with Flowers
Pull-Down

To My Valentine May this give a pledge to thee and speak in silence from me.
9 5/8" x 8 1/2"
In envelope dated 1908
Figures with Inkwell
Letters and Cat
honeycomb stand-up

by Chloe Preston

To My Valentine ~ 'Tis my delight to bring you this within its folds you'll find a kiss.
7 1/8" x 6 1/2"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Figures with Perfume Atomizer
Honeycomb Stand Up
Made in Germany

Forget me not I ask of Thee, Reserve one spot your heart for me.
4 3/4" x 5"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Figure playing Lute while another holds a teddy bear
and watches from the window
honeycomb stand-up

To My Valentine May this give a pledge to thee and speak in silence from me.
4 1/2" x 7 1/3"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Two figure with Blazing Hearts
and Flowers in an Urn
honeycomb stand-up

To My Valentine.
4 1/2" x 7 1/3"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Girl in Bonnet with Doll
and Basket of Hearts
mechanical flat card
Head and Eyes Move
by Chloe Preston
To One I Love.
4" x 3 1/8"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Girl in Striped Dress with
Umbrella and Basket of Hearts
Feet on Wheel to Walk
by Chloe Preston
To My Valentine.
4" x 3 1/8"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Figure with Hat, Umbrella, Basket of Hearts
and Duck in Pocket
Walking Feet on Wheel
by Chloe Preston


To My Valentine.
4 1/4" x 2 5/8"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Girl in Flowered Dress with Clown on String
Walking Feet
by Chloe Preston

To My Sweetheart.
6 1/4" x 4 1/2"
circa 1910s, 1920s

Girl in Flowered Bonnet with 
Cone of Hearts
Walking Feet
by Chloe Preston

These walking valentines feature chubby characters with big eyes and wide faces.  The multiple feet are on round discs that turn.  The figures are very detailed and feature wonderful colors and embossing.

To my Valentine.

6" x 8 1/2"
circa 1920s
by Chloe Preston
part of a series of walking cards
mechanical flat


Valentine Greetings.
2 7/8" x 4 7/8"
circa 1920s
Above Identified as by Cloe Preston on p 66 of Brenner's Valentine Treasury
a less typical example of her work

We can't yet be 100% positive, but we are reasonably convinced that this is the work of Chloe Preston (b 1887 - d 1969). While the English artist is best known for her Chunkies and Peek-A-Boo characters, she also created many valentines dating largely to the 1910s or so (WWI era). It is difficult to be very precise when discussing her valentines as they are not signed by her, making identification a challenge.

Her valentine figures tend to have large round eyes with many lashes, like these do. She also did considerable work incorporating red honeycomb or paper-puff on free-standing cards.

This one features a fireman theme, with a house ablaze and girl to be rescued. Crows fly above the red shingled roof.  One of the birds is holding a heart in its beak. The fire fighters wear black helmets with red hearts adorning the front. While one raises a ladder to the window, the other mans a leaky hose. Flowerpots fall from the balcony as an unused blue bucket sits below. It is a very active scene.

Despite the obvious damage (mainly to the upper bit of paper-puff), the beauty of this card remains. The detailing is fabulous, with much care paid not just to the figures, but to their surroundings as well.

The card stands 9 1/2" tall, 7" wide and about 4" deep. Its only marking notes that it was made in Germany. A faucet and note stand in the lower bit of paper-puff. The message on the note reads:

To my Valentine
This little card
I send to you
To tell you I
Continue true.

The flames are die-cut with yellow backing paper, adding a lovely glow to them as light peeks through.

Even if we were to find this was not the work of Ms. Preston, it was clearly created by a talented artist. This has become one of my favorites in my collection - now if only I could get a bit more repair done to that paper-puff.

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Click here to see more Cards by Chloe Preston

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