A Merry Christmas

This charming Santa Claus postcard was made by the artist Frances Brundage.

Brundage was an American artist. Her father was her first teacher and when he abandoned the family, 17-year-old Frances began her career. Her first sale was a sketch which she sold to Louisa May Alcott to accompany a book of her poems. During a 65 year career, Brundage illustrated over 200 books, numerous postcards, paper dolls, Valentines, trade cards, calendars and a variety of other print materials; including, of course Christmas cards. All of her work is highly collectable but her die cut Valentines are exceptionally so.

In this Santa Claus drawing, we have the man himself stuffing toys into his sack. He looks to be sitting at the edge of a forest on a soft cushion of snow. Brundage is known for her charming pictures of children that seem to be drawn to be more attractive to adults. Even her Santa Claus drawing seems to have a bit of a child-like face.

Santa is surrounded by toys. Dolls, balls, book and even a pair of cute pull toys with a giraffe and goat. He has a big smile and his nose and cheeks are rosy red from the cold.

He is dressed in traditional red but he may predate Nash’s Santa by a few years due to the brown fur trim instead of the white we are so used to now. I did read where Brundage, though American, did a great deal of work for European publishing houses and that may be why she used the brown fur.

And just in case Santa and all of the toys aren’t sweet enough, Brundage added a cute little squirrel in a tree to watch the entire scene.

A Merry Christmas

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.