Centsprent N. 172, The little birds that you see here, dear children! don’t sing
Centsprent, issued around 1800 ,. Woodcut colored by hand on which twenty-four prints can be seen, depicting various birds. Two-line verses under the prints. Colored in green, yellow, red. Inscriptions: The little birds that you see here, dear children! do not sing, they are also easy to catch, you do not have to hang them in a cage. Dimensions 42.5 x 27.5 cm. The print is framed. The print is in good condition, some damp spots at the bottom of the border, not in the image.
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A children’s, also known as cent print or little boys sheet, is a cheap printed sheet (for sale for a cent), which was issued through door-to-door selling, with pictures and text. The text could consist of prose or verses. As a precursor to the comic, the pictures and talks told a story, for example about saints and heroes, but fairy tales were also sold as a cartoon. The cents prints were not only read, but also read or retold, with the pictures then being shown. Centsprints served for more than three centuries as a newspaper, as an illustrated source of stories or as a cartoon with texts. Those who didn’t have the money for books could always buy a picture for a cent at pedestrians, hawkers or in stores. The children’s print shows a representation of fairly rough wood-carving figures (later prints did use wood engravings and lithography) on not very good paper. The pictures are sometimes colored: with some orange or purple red and blue, sometimes supplemented with yellow – random color smears, applied with a coarse brush, thumb print or shifted template. Color printing will become more professional in later time. In addition to prints about all sorts of manners and customs, proverbs, stories from literature from the Middle Ages and the 16th-18th centuries, there are also illustrations about professions and crafts, folk tales, moralistic narratives, children’s games, and topics from the Bible, history, geography , in addition to ABC reading examples, strange people, soldiers, vehicles and famous people. The prints, in which the adventures of the main characters are depicted in 8, 16, 24 or even 48 different scenes, can be regarded as precursors of the comic strip. Although many pennies appear to be aimed at children, it is unknown whether they were made specifically for children at the time.