This is one of two incredibly intricate American School Scherenschnitte from the same hand. I don’t know who the artist of these two fantastic pieces is but the way in which the paper on both was folded into quarters and cut so that each quadrant is exactly the same as the three others is something that 19th century American artists practiced more than scissor-cutting artists of other countries. The style, motifs and manner in which cut all indicate the likely origin is Pennsylvania. The petaled flower that serves as the center medallion in this piece shows up in the other one (“The Poulson Cutting”) as corner motifs. The leaves are the same design in both pieces. This piece has more of a geometric motif in the form of the very intricate borders. The Poulson Cutting has more organic designs plus the center includes the cut name of the recipient and birds.
This wonderful piece of American folk art is has been laid onto a brown paper which is, in turn, glued to a wove yellow paper. Gold foil has been laid to the yellow paper to outline the cutting, giving it the look of a mat. The yellow paper tests acid-free. I can’t test the brown paper because I can’t get to the back of it but it looks like wove paper where I can see it through a loupe. Condition is marvelous for such a delicate 19th century piece. I find one small brown stain at the bottom edge, one tiny loss along the right edge and one repaired break in the upper left corner. Housed in a stunning, period, paint decorated frame with original dry paint with a comb grained design. Framed size 16” x 13 ¼”, paper size 9 ¾” x 7. Circa 1860.
Please see Scherenschnitte, The Art of Papercutting for more information on this wonderful form of folk art.
Check out the other piece by the same artist at The Poulson Cutting.