Victorian Christmas Scraps

Scraps, from which Scrapbooks developed because people wanted to do something artistic and fun with their scraps, were quite the rage in the late 19th century. Millions of scraps were printed, mostly in Germany, but some in England as well.

Christmas was not, for the Victorians, the holiday it has since become. It was, of course, an important day in the church calendar, but it was not the all consuming secular holiday that it we have made it.

6 Victorian Scraps of Santa

An interesting thing about these 6 Santas is that they seem to be 6 different men.

In the world of scraps, Santa Claus was the overwhelmingly dominant image. It is interesting that, perhaps because of the dominance of Germany printing, how many colors other than red Santa’s suit was pictured to be. He was obviously thought of more as St. Nicholas, a kind but rather formidable figure, than as the jolly fellow of Clemens’ Night Before Christmas that has informed the modern Santa.

2 Victorian Santa scraps: one in a blue suit, one is a red suit.

Victorian Santa in a Blue Suit

Scraps of angels were also popular, and some of them were very beautiful. Here are two more lovely ones.

Victorian Scrap of two angels

Two angels with Christmas greens and a scroll

We show here the scraps the way they were sold–the smaller ones usually attached together in groups, to be cut apart by the user. The larger ones were available singly, identifiable by number.They were not gummed; the scrapbooker was responsible for his or her own glueing.