Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mark Felt helps with a Christmas postcard mystery

It's only been a few days since I posted that humorous and disturbing mystery postcard featuring snowman people, a Christmas tree and a severed human head. (Yes, you read that right.)

But "Mark Felt," one of Papergreat's top commenters and research associates1, was quickly able to solve the biggest part of the mystery.

MF writes that the postcard is "a macabre bastardization of the 1882 drawing entitled Bringing Home the Christmas Tree by an artist named (perhaps pseudonymously) A. Hunt." The original is shown at right, taken from the 2005 book Christmas Past, by Barbara Hallman Kissinger and Pelican Publishing.

MF adds that A. Hunt's artwork appears throughout many editions over many years of the Illustrated London News. You can see some of those wonderful illustrations, which run from 1850 to 1970, on this archival website.

Here's a side-by-side look at the original and modified illustrations, so you can get a better sense of how it was creatively modified. The only remaining question is who the second artist was.

Thanks again for moving this mystery toward a solution, MF!

1. Here are two full posts devoted to Mark Felt's sleuthing, from January and February.

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