c. 1890. A die cut sheet of 27 Santas. Sheet: 6 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches. Figures: 2 1/4 inches. Item #2690
The Victorian "scrap" or die cut was one of the major endeavors of the chromolithograph printer of the last quarter of the 19th century. Produced mostly in Germany, these wisps of paper which combined chromolithograph printing with the die cut process and embossed relief had a universal appeal and gave new impetus to the pastime of making scrap albums. Albums had previously been filled with a random assortment of pictures from periodicals, labels, dried flowers, and original drawings. But these German oblaten (wafers) or glanzbilder (gloss pictures) brought new life and color to this increasingly popular hobby.
The scraps were sold separately or in sheets, each image linked to the next by a narrow tab which was cut off in separation. The tabs frequently bore the name or initials of the publisher or printer. Some of the more prominent printers/publishers were Albrecht & Meister, Birn Brothers, Littnaur & Bauer, S. Hildesheimer & Co. in Germany and Raphael Tuck in England and L. Prang & Co. in America.