Congratulations in the form of a picture with paper cut-outs.
Title: Congratulations picture
Date Created: 1840
Location Created: Sweden, Uppland
More Information: During the nineteenth century, neighbours and relatives used to honour a bride and groom with a congratulations picture, beautifully painted or cut out. They were also common on name days or birthdays and were often framed and hung up as a memento. They can be compared with greetings telegrams in the twentieth century. Many parishes had someone who was particularly skilled at painting and writing verse, or, as here, cutting out and decorating with paper, and they were often willing to work to order. Paper cutting in particular is typical of Uppland. Paper flowers were also used to decorate brides who got married in the winter, when fresh flowers were not available. This picture also features shiny paper, which makes it particularly festive. The verse is about God's grace and contains a blessing for the couple. Such tribute poems often featured Christian content.
In the nineteenth century, it became common among rural people to celebrate name days, and to some extent, birthdays, something the upper classes started doing in the seventeenth century. Name days were celebrated more than birthdays, as people did not always know when they were born. Many were given their name from the medieval saint's calendar, and the church was originally behind name day celebrations, as a commemoration in honour of the saint's death.
Congratulations pictures could also be painted with motifs and composition inspired by the so-called 'kistebrev', printed images that were often fastened to coffin lids as decoration. They became common in Sweden during the late eighteenth century.