Valentine for Jane Edie
Origin: America, Virginia, Montgomery County
Primary support (irreg.): 4 13/16 x 8 3/4in. (12.2 x 22.2cm)
Watercolor and ink on wove paper
Acc. No. 1981.301.1
A handmade valentine showing a mock envelope in the upper center within a rectangular border of yellow watercolor. On either side of the rectangle, a male figure is partially visible, appearing to peek from behind the rectangle. "S" scrolls and parts of upper corner decorations appear above their heads, but the piece has been trimmed even with the upper edge of the rectangle, cutting off parts of this decoration. "S" scrolls extending from blue, bulbous corner elements surrounded by "tattered shell" decoration are visible at the bottom.
Within the confines of the yellow-bordered rectangle, 3-4 lines of script run vertically along either side and, in the middle, a near-square section is marked off by a row of dotted lines at top and bottom and rows of flowers on either side. Red-bordered hearts appear above and below this section. Two separate triangles of paper glued facing one another with space between give the illusion of an envelope; they partially cover a third separate bit of paper, a rectangle on which faint, now illegible traces of inked script are discernible. One "envelope" triangle has a blue flower on it, the other a pink. A yellow band borders the top of the separate rectangular pieces of paper.
Below the large, yellow-banded rectangle, cut-out flower and foliage motifs, hand watercolored in pinks, green, blue, and yellow, have been glued to the primary support, with added touches of watercolor around them. Below this floral spray is drawn in watercolor a hand and part of a forearm, the hand holding an envelope addressed as in "Inscriptions."
The piece was not framed when received in 1981.
Label:Lewis Miller created numerous tokens of affection for his female relatives living in Montgomery County, Virginia. Besides valentines these include May Day greetings, Christmas wishes, and birth and baptismal remembrances. This charming valentine was made for his great-niece, Jane Harriet Edie (1826-1912), the first born of her generation of Miller's Virginia relatives. Since the valentine is addressed to Jane in her maiden name, it is believed to have been made for her before her September 18, 1850, marriage to Capt. John Crow Wade.
Provenance:CWF's source, Mrs. Donald L. Brown (nee Jane Allen Crush), was a descendant of the "Jane Edie" for whom the valentine was made, and the piece is assumed to have descended in the family. The exact line of descent is not documented.
Jane Allen Crush Brown's father was Charles Wade Crush (1893-1970); his father was Charles Hastings Crush (1852-1893); his mother was Mary Louise Wade (1859-1938); her mother was Jane Harriet Edie (1826-1912), for whom Miller made the valentine.
Inscription(s):In ink in script enclosed within a small ink-drawn envelope at bottom center is "Miss/Jane Edie/Virginia" and on a larger mock envelope above is "Your's faithfully--/Lewis Miller." Inked script written vertically to either side of the mock envelope reads (on the left) "Let thy mind, love, be at ease:/Rest, and fear not. dream of me/love, love is here" and (on the right) "When true hearts lie wither'd/and fond ones are flown./Oh! who would inhabit this world/Alone!"