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Background

The famous children's book illustrator Kate Greenaway began her artistic career designing Valentines, Christmas and New Year cards and calendars for publisher Marcus Ward. Her distinctive images of children and young people dressed in early nineteenth century costume were hugely popular and as a result, were widely imitated.

Kate Greenaway worked for Marcus Ward between 1868 to 1878, where her card designs were registered at Stationer's Hall but not in her name. It is only on later designs that we see her monogram 'KG', so identifying an early design can be thrilling. It is not known how many greetings cards Kate Greenaway produced for Ward and other publishing houses, but her designs do tend to carry certain features including; children and young people dressed in historical costume, a short verse (sometimes written by Kate herself), themes of fairies and flowers, plain backgrounds edged with brightly coloured borders.

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