19th c. Floral Watercolor Reward of Merit - Dedham, MA - 1814
Very rare and unusual urn-shaped hand painted reward of merit. Detailed watercolor work includes floral garland of blue and pink morning glories, Finished in a trim of gold tape and cream silk bows.
"As a token of appreciation and an expression of thanks for her manifest attention to and improvement in her deportments, and for her promptitude in recitations, while the school was under the superintendence of Mrs. Cranch - Miss Rebecca Guild is to receive this from her instructress, L. Bordman. Dedham, Feb. 1814.
Notes from the American Antiquarian:
"Rewards of merit, small tokens of congratulation given to students for good behavior and scholastic accomplishments, have been utilized by teachers for generations. The practice was most popular during the nineteenth century when printing techniques evolved to make this form of ephemera more readily available. A majority of the surviving rewards of merit are printed, as opposed to hand drawn and painted examples that involved significant artistic effort."
5.25" x 8.5"
Missing upper right corner. Mild darkening to paper ground. Vertical creases and horizontal crease/tear at base. Some loss to gold trim tape.