Halsey Munson Americana
2707 Twin Oaks Court
Decatur, Illinois  62526
Phone:  217-972-4645

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Early Watercolor Seaman’s Valentine

A rare 18th/19th C. valentine, done on a single 9” x 9” sheet of wove paper, and when found it had been folded into a 3” x 3” square. Probably seaman-made or commissioned to a coastal artist. Six intersecting circles in red and blue ink surround a central reserve in which is depicted a three-masted vessel flying a flag with the Union Jack used as a canton in the upper left corner—typical of the form adopted by several of Britain’s several overseas territories, but also used as the state flag of Hawaii. The design Hawaii uses today did not become official until 1801. An 18th C.form, with text lines written in a fine copperplate hand, forming a square enclosing the linked circles, each of which contains lines describing the illustrations of paired hearts, roses, doves and ripening apples, all ending at a tall-steepled church. Ca. 1790-1810 but the colors are remarkably crisp. The condition of this love token is almost certainly the result of its having spent the majority of its life stored away. In a 20th C. 10½” x 9½” frame.