You know I love Scherenschnitte (aka scissor-cutting or paper-cutting) nearly as much as I love the other form of scissor-cutting, silhouettes! Here is a totally fun American Scherenschnitte that is like from Pennsylvania. A beautiful still-life of flowers, hearts, leaves, and abstract shapes all bursting from an urn on stepped base. It has a definite connection to the beautiful theorem paintings of the 19th century. In the American style, it has been cut from a piece of paper folded in half for symmetrical cutting. Our American ancestors also frequently folded their paper in quarters or even tighter. It is laid onto a vibrant blue wove paper that has the shiny texture that we called “flint paper” when I was coming up in antiques. I have no idea where that name came from and no one seems to use that term anymore. The bit of research I can find indicates that this shiny paper was achieved by glazing the paper with something after it was colored. Whatever the technique, the rich blue paper really sets off the slightly toned white paper of the cutting. ….and, if that isn’t enough, it is framed in the most wonderful antique folk frame with applied wood beading around the edges and creating a great design on the body of the frame. The frame has an old crusty finish. Framed size is 12 ½” x 14 ¾” with a sight size of 7 ½” x 9 ¾”. There are some creases and scratches to the blue paper and some breaks and bends in the cutting. Nothing terribly distracting. There are some dings in the frame, but again, nothing terribly noticeable. The cutting is circa 1850 and the frame is late 19th to early 20th century.
Please see Scherenschnitte, The Art of Papercutting for more information on this wonderful form of folk art.