Souvenir Square (USA), 1912
This is a Souvenir square. It is dated 1912 and we acquired it in 1985. Its medium is cotton and its technique is 4\1 satin printed by chromolithography and embossed. It is a part of the Textiles department.
Printed fabric novelties were popular promotional devices in the early twentieth century, a signal of the growing influence of marketing in American material culture. This souvenir square, dating from 1912 and featuring baseball greats Christy Mathewson and “Home Run” Baker, among others, was a premium offered by Helmar and Turkey Red Tobacco companies in exchange for 100 coupon inserts.
The five rectangules have red cross stitches printed around their edges, in imitation of 19th century cigarette silk quilts. Cigarette silks were small pieces of printed satin inserted in tobacco packaging. Typically no more than 2.5 inches high and 1.5 inches wide, they were often patched together into quilts and table coverings, following instructions published in ladies’ magazines such as Godey’s Lady’s Book.
Its dimensions are
H x W: 57.2 × 57.2 cm (22 1/2 × 22 1/2 in.)
Cite this object as
Souvenir Square (USA), 1912; cotton; H x W: 57.2 × 57.2 cm (22 1/2 × 22 1/2 in.); Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Smith; 1980-31-6