'Robin Hood and the Blackbird: A Tale of Christmas Dinner', image page three of six-page Christmas card

'Robin Hood and the Blackbird: A Tale of Christmas Dinner', image page three of six-page Christmas card

'A Happy New Year'
'Robin Hood and the Blackbird: A Tale of Christmas Dinner'
Image page three of six-page Christmas card
Published by Marcus Ward &Co.
1850-1900
Chromolithograph
Museum no. 29324.4

The story 'Robin Hood and the Blackbird: A Tale of a Christmas Dinner' is recounted here in a collection of six horizontal format cards, and combines pictures of happy children with visual references to the popular Robin Hood tales. Published by Marcus Ward & Co, this piece recasts the characters from the original Robin Hood story as children. Robin is easily identified by his characteristic costume of green tights, plumed hat and fold-over boots.

Christmas gift-giving normally centres on the youngest members of a family. Children are a common feature of Christmas card illustration and design because childhood is readily linked with merriment, innocence and purity - all of which are elements of the 'Christmas spirit'.

The representation of children also has a literal spiritual aspect: some designers and publishers relied on associations made between depictions of children and the Christ child. His image was often used to accompany blessings and tidings for the coming year. Children on Victorian cards are often cherubic in appearance, with silken curls and rosy cheeks, representing the 'ideal child'.

This card can be found in Print Room Box 3.