[Massachusetts]: . Beautifully hand-colored manuscript on one sheet with all text to recto. Measuring 245 x 215mm. Retaining its bright colors; with chipping and loss to all edges, not affecting images or text. A unique tribute by a mother to her late daughter.
The bright colors and floral arrangements of the present piece suggest that it was originally intended to document joyful family milestones. Titled "Register," its first section declares that it is of "the Family of Adolphus Draper who was born August & Married Belinda Axtell Sept. 18th 1816, who was born July 9th 1797." Below this is added less happy news, however. "Sacred to the memory of Rebeckah Draper, only child of Adolphus & Belinda Draper who was born Oct. 5th 1817 & departed this life August 26th 1821." In contrast to the piece's visual vibrancy, Belinda adds a final verse to the piece's foot: "Rebeckah, tho thou art in heaven and we on earth, May this one hope delight us, That thou will hail our second birth, When death shall unite us. Where worlds no more can sever Parents & child forever."
A unique and tragic piece of maternal history, available for further research into family genealogy, child mortality rates and causes of death, the symbolic significance of illustrated flowers, and maternal mourning practices of the period. (Item #5560)