I love to read old garden magazines. You learn a lot about the growth of…
Victorian flowers decorate forever stamps.
Recently I bought first class stamps at our local post office, something I have done many times.
This batch of stamps however surprised me. Victorian flowers decorated each stamp in the packet I received.
Each stamp looked like a work of art. That’s what they were: botanical art from the late nineteenth century.
The U.S. Post Office used chromolithographs of flowers from the seed and nursery catalogs from the 1880s into the twentieth century for these new stamps, just issued in January.The late nineteenth century was a time when many businesses used chromolithographs to promote their products in ads, catalog covers, trade cards, and posters. The garden industry was no different, including in the catalog brightly colored chromos, as they were called, depicting their flowers. Often the artist responsible for these images was never named.
The images on these stamps come from the seed and nursery catalog collection at the New York Botanical Garden, one of the largest such archives in the country.
No surprise that I have been using the stamps for the past few weeks.
These stamps provide a lesson in garden history by focusing on the botanical art used to sell flowers in Victorian America.
We now have them thanks to the U.S. Post Office.