Yesterday's Magazette

5 – Cupid’s Magic

Cupid’s Magic.jpg

 

By Madonna Dries Christensen

If you frequent antique shops, you’ve probably seen the sepia photographs pictured here. Cupid Awake and Cupid Asleep are their names. The photographer, M.B. Parkinson, worked in the New York City area during the latter part of the 1800s and early 1900s. His young model, Josephine Anderson, was the daughter of a friend, a single mother who worked and sometimes left her child in Parkinson’s care.

Josephine died in the 1970s.

Parkinson copyrighted his prints in 1897 and they were distributed by Taber-Prang Art Company of Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1908, The Ohio Art Company began selling metal picture frames in which the Cupid prints were displayed, some of them hand tinted. Sold at Kresge’s, Sears, and Woolworth’s, people bought the frames for the pictures. The Cupids were immensely popular and were seen in millions of homes across the country. In 1938, Ohio Art Company bought the copyright from Taber-Prang after their bankruptcy. Originally sold for a nickel or dime, the Cupid photos now command high prices, as much as $450 a pair in larger sizes.

Other vintage Parkinson prints are in circulation and nearly all of them have a child as the subject, including other Cupid prints. Cupid At Rest and Cupid Interested were copyrighted in 1906 by M. DeWitt. Cupid Waiting, and Cupid Watching were copyrighted in 1911 by Hughes and Lyday Company. There’s also one called Encore in which Cupid is holding a violin, and another called What Will You Have? Not so common are the Black Cupid prints issued by Schlesinger Brothers and by National Art and Frame Company. There are many Cupid Awake and Cupid Asleep reproductions, so if you’re into collecting, know what you’re buying; old or new.

Just who was Cupid and why is he associated with Valentine’s Day? There are dozens of version of how St. Valentine’s Day began. Here’s one from Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles Panati. In about AD 496, the Catholic Church took steps to ban the centuries old pagan festival honoring Lupercus, the God of fertility. At this February celebration, young men drew a teenaged girl’s name from a box. She would be his companion for pleasure for a year. When Pope Gelasius initiated the new festival, he chose Saint Valentine as its patron. Valentine was a bishop who had been martyred some two hundred years earlier, in AD 270. Valentine had angered the emperor Claudius by secretly marrying young couples after Claudius had abolished marriage because married men did make good soldiers. Claudius tried to persuade Valentine to renounce his faith and was further angered when Valentine not only refused but wanted to convert Claudius to Catholicism. On February 14, Valentine was clubbed, stoned and beheaded.

Before his death, he supposedly fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, who had befriended him, and he signed his final note to her, “From your Valentine.”

In time, the Lupercalian festival gave way to the Christian celebration. Both men and women participated in the new game of chance, in which they drew the name of a saint, whom they were expected to emulate for a year. For men, this was not as satisfying as having a young girl assigned to them so they instituted the practice of giving handwritten affectionate greetings to women they wished to court. They did this on February 14th As Christianity spread, so did the practice of exchanging handwritten love notes. They became more and more decorative, and Cupid became a popular image on the notes because in Roman mythology, Cupid was the son of Venus, goddess of love. In Greek mythology, Cupid is known as Eros, son of Aphrodite. Birds were commonly used on love notes, stemming from a medieval belief that birds feather their nests and pick a mate in mid-February.

Americans began exchanging Valentine sentiments during the 1700s. In the 1840s, mechanical cards were popular. By pulling a tab, a figure or object appeared, or a three dimensional pop-up feature. About 1858, John McLaughlin, owner of a New York City printing company, introduced Vinegar Valentines, featuring sarcastic verses. Cartoonist Charles Howard created similar cards, which came to be known as Penny Dreadfuls (they cost a penny and the verses were dreadful). Mean-spirited, racy, racist, and sometimes obscene, these crude, unattractive, and insulting cards poked fun at nearly everyone: Civil servants, domestic workers, bookkeepers, teachers, librarians, or at lifestyles, habits, hobbies, religion, physical characteristics; masculinity, and femininity.

For some reason, people took to these cards, considering them nothing more than jokes. But since many were sent anonymously, it seems clear the messages were serious and intended to hurt the receiver. Adding insult to injury, during the 19th century, the receiver was obligated to pay the postage. During the early years of the 20th century, the Chicago post office refused to deliver some twenty-five thousand Penny Dreadfuls on the grounds that they were unfit to be sent through the US mail.

American artist and publisher Esther Howland is credited with producing the first mass-produced Valentines. Her lacy, elaborate cards cost from five to ten dollars, with some as much as thirty-five dollars. Less expensive cards became available, and children delighted in filling the mailbox at school with cards for classmates and teachers. A colorful card from 1913, given to teacher, Miss Sigrid Johnson, from Evelyn, reads: “Thy web of life in threads of gold, be wrought with joy in every fold.” In 1941, Richard Bowers gave Miss Brubaker a card reading: “Just a little Valentine; You’ll have others I’ve no doubt; In counting up your little friends, Please don’t leave me out.”

Today, frills and loving sentiments are still the mainstay of Valentines purchased by adults wanting to express their love and admiration for one another. Americans send an estimated one billion Valentines each year (that figure probably does not include millions of electronic cards now sent). Only at Christmastime are more cards sent (about 2.6 billion).

93 Comments »

  1. Loved this history and am sending the link to friends and family on February 14!

    Comment by terri elders — February 4, 2008 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  2. My mother-in-law has an original “Cupid Waiting”. I am researching information on it’s origin. Any information you give me will be most helpful. Thank you.

    Comment by John — May 12, 2008 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

    • I think I have an origional cupid awake from my parents attic, took it to a roadshow with a couple of minitures I found at a thrift shop. The dealer told me the minitures were copies and the larger “cupid awake” was a photo. Do you have any info?

      Comment by Michele — July 14, 2011 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

  3. I have original 1906 Cupid at Rest and Cupid Interested by M. Dewitt. They are 16×20. They were my great grandmothers. I am looking for any information about them? I have found nothing on the internet.

    Comment by Jeff — July 26, 2008 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

    • Just wanted to let you know that the child in the picture is a little girl, who actually was my grandmother. M. Dewitt illegaly marketed the private photo’s, but being that my great grandparents did not have the money to pursue legal action there was nothing they could do to stop the illegal sale and distribution of the prints. I hope this gives you further insight into the origin.

      Regards,
      Bob

      Comment by Bob Salerno — June 27, 2010 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

      • Bob, Is your grandmother Joshephine? I have the print by Huges and Lyday, 1911 and although I only found it a couple weeks ago, it has brought me great joy. There is just something about the child (your grandmother?) that makes me smile everytime I look at her. I thought maybe I was related because my mother never framed photos unless they were family!!!
        I can appreciate your concerns about the legalities. It is truly a shame your great grandparents weren’t able to do anything. However, I want you to know I think your grandmother was a beautiful child and I am so thankful to have the photo.

        Comment by Barbara — July 7, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

      • No, my grandmother’s name was Gertrude. I’m glad your pics bring joy to you mine certainly do to me.

        Comment by Bob Salerno — September 18, 2010 @ 8:30 pm

      • Bob or anyone, I have a print by M.B. Parkinson printed in 1894 entitled “Sing On Forever”. It measures approximately 16×20. The picture is of a young lady holding a stringed instrument. She looks like a grown up girl related to the cupid picture children. Any ideas as to who this is? Have you come across ladies in prints by M.B. Parkinson?

        Comment by Sonya — December 30, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

      • Hi BOB! I was doing some digging around to try and find out about the picture of your grandmother in the picture cupid interested i have one in my home and she is so beautiful. I just wanted to ask you sir how would i know if this is a real one that i have. Anything that you might could tell me would help and, THANK YOU! so much. My name is Ron! by the way and my e-mail is shaggy4877@yahoo.com if you care to reply. Thanks again!

        Comment by Ron — November 24, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

    • Hi Bob! I guess I am confused (as usual!). I thought the little girl in the cupid photos were of Josephine Anderson? Do they have her name wrong?
      Which ones are your grandmother, Gertrude, in? Mine is “Cupid Waiting”.
      Thanks,
      Barbara

      Comment by Barbara Burgess — September 18, 2010 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

      • No, Gertrude Scooler (later Nolan), my grandmother, was the little girl in Cupid Interested and Cupid at Rest. I hope that clears things up.

        Regards,
        Bob

        Comment by Bob Salerno — September 19, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

      • Ah Hah! Yes, that clears things up! I assumed all the cupid’s were of Joshephine Anderson. Goes to show, never assume anything. I will look up the ones with your grandmother. Wish I could afford them all…
        Thanks again,
        Barbara

        Comment by Barbara Burgess — September 19, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

      • Well, obviously, I am not very observant!!! They are all different!!! Your grandmother was absolutely adorable.
        Barbara

        Comment by Barbara Burgess — September 19, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

      • Barbara, I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to locate several originals of each of her photo’s. Be careful as there are lots of fakes being pawned off as originals when indeed they are just very good reproductions. The greatest find was when I found one of them on the 2nd story of an antique store in Billings, Montana. Great when one considers my grandmother grew up in NY, moved with us to FL in 1968, and then I make the find in Billings with my mother in tow on that vacation as well. Good luck in your quest to collect all the cupids.

        Comment by Bob Salerno — September 19, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

      • That is an amazing story!
        Like I said…wish I could afford them all. I am happy with the one I found in the attic, but if I ever get the opportunity to really pursue them, I will.
        Barbara

        Comment by Barbara Burgess — September 19, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

    • I also have an original 1090 Cupid Interested by M. Dewitt (it’s an 8″x10″). I’ve seen a lot of the Cupid at Rest but very few Cupid Interested. How would I be able to find the value?
      Sandy

      Comment by Sandra Maupin — November 8, 2011 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

      • I guess you could check out what they have sold for on ebay, but you have to be careful as there are many very good reproductions out there and unless you had some way of getting confirmation that it is an authentic original you could end up paying well beyond the value. Since they are a pic of my grandmother they are priceless to me! :-) I paid $70 for the framed original one I found in an antique shop in Billings. Good luck!

        Comment by Bob Salerno — November 9, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

  4. I also have an original signed cupid at rest with no luck. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Comment by donna — September 4, 2008 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

  5. Dear Sir/ Madam

    I have an original 1897 Cupid Awake by M D Parkinson which belonged to my grandmother. It measures approx 23 x 32 centimetres. On the back it has registration no. 2829 and was published by Faber Prang Art co. Springfield Massachusetts.

    Could you please give me any further info you may have and estimated value.

    Thank you Maria

    Comment by Maria — September 22, 2008 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  6. I have an original signed Cupid Awake in a square wooden frame.
    The backing is ripped but the photograph is in perfect condition. I would like to know it’s value if possible.

    Thank you.

    Comment by joyce — October 20, 2008 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  7. my mother has a cupid asleep. information I copied was –No.1893 copyrighted Cupid Asleep. Published by Taber Prang Art Co. Springfield Mass. Don’t remember if wooden or metal frame. Would like to know how to tell if one of many reproductions. Not a collector . It’s a family keeper.

    Comment by vaunnetta — February 21, 2009 @ 8:36 pm | Reply

    • i have the same print and wanted to konw if your frame was wooden or not? this print came from my grandmothers house and they had it as long as i could remember so i know of it beeing around since at least 40 years ago. did you find out anything?

      Comment by Ron Herman — August 31, 2009 @ 7:09 pm | Reply

    • went to a road show today with a large cupid awake and two minitures, one of the same and was shown by magnifying glass that the minitures were copies by the grainy effect that was very clear. I am hoping that the larger photo is real but am still waiting. The photo was found in my parents attic, and I have always been curious.

      Comment by Michele — July 14, 2011 @ 10:58 pm | Reply

  8. I HAVE A CUPID AWAKE THAT IS IN PERFECT CONDITION. ON THE BACK OF THE PICTURE IT IS PRINTED ” NO. 2001 AND THAT IT WAS PUBLISHED BY TABER PRANG ART CO IN SPRINGFIELD , MASS. ON THE FRONT OF THE PICTURE IT HAS “COPYRIGHT 1897 BY M.B.PARKINSON. THE SIZE OF THE PHOTOGRAPH ALONE IS 2 1/2 INCHES WIDE BY 3 1/4 IN LENGTH.. IT IS IN AN OVAL METAL FRAME WITH GLASS THAT IS 3 1/4 INCHES WIDE AND 4 1/2 INCHES IN LENGTH. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT IT IS WORTH?

    Comment by DANA — March 16, 2009 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  9. Great site,
    I have a framed Schlesinger print of a lady,11″ x 14″ that was used in their “Native “series and “Cow Boy” series of post cards.
    It was taken 1911 NY, Schlesinger Bro. I inherited it and was told she was a relative. Do you know where I could find out anything about her? It was sent to Mrs Ward 148 Mill St Saint John NB, Canada

    Comment by Deb C. — May 15, 2009 @ 12:55 am | Reply

  10. Neat site…
    I, too have a “CUPID ASLEEP”, the number on the back is 1893. It was my great grandmother’s and it is in the original frame. The back of the fame holds the pic in with tiny nails and a piece of string for hanging. I was wondering what its value is since I don’t have the “CUPID AWAKE”. It’s in amazing condition. Aged…but in great shape.
    Thanks to anyone who answers!

    Comment by Stacie M. — May 16, 2009 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

    • i have the same photo let me know if anyone gives you its value.

      Comment by april — May 18, 2009 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

    • i just came across this site while researching a photo i have of Cupid Awake marked #1892 1 number below yours, i wonder if they were a pair? mine is in a brown 8″ x 10″ oval metal frame

      Comment by Kevin N — August 6, 2010 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

      • i have cupid awake and cupid asleep right next to each other and i looked in the back of them and cupid awake is 1900 and cupid asleep is 1901

        Comment by Deanna — August 18, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    • I, too have a “Cupid Asleep’ with the same number on the back 1893..and is in the original frame just as you described. I just found it in the basement tonight. It”s not in very good shape but I also have “Cupid Awake” 1892 which is in excellent shape (picture it”s self is 8 X 6 inches] with on the arrow cupid is holding is Copyright 1897 by M B Parkinson. back side has 1892 Cupid Awake Published by Taber Prang Art Co.Springfield, Massachusetts.frame itself is 10 inches by7and one half inches across.it is wooden and has tiny nails all in back holding picture in place and a wire across it to hang it up. I tore the thin brown paper covering the back of picture trying to get the picture out.the light brown paper has the #3148 on both of backs of the frames. Anyone out there who is still interested in either of these pictures???????? I KNOW THEY ARE THE ORIGINALS and probably belonged to my grandparents Clyde and Catherine Carney–my fathers George W. Carneys” parents.

      Comment by chloe j. burns — June 25, 2013 @ 4:12 am | Reply

  11. I see you mention a set of Black Cupids in this article. Can you tell me where I can find more information about these black cupid prints? I have acquired a set from a very old estate and would like to know their value and history.

    Comment by rainbowseeker — June 28, 2009 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

    • hi,
      i ran into a black cupid asleep a few years ago in richmond virginia and i’ve been searching,too, for any info. i’ve seen a caricuture of black cupids on ebay a few weeks back but it wasn’t what i have. mine follows parkinson’s cupid. if you ever want to part with them, i’d be interested. if you find out more, please post it and i will do the same.

      Comment by gurley — October 11, 2009 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

      • I have available some reproduction sets of the Twelvetrees versions of BLACK CUPID AWAKE & ASLEEP. Feel free to contact me about them. ( Put regarding Twelvetrees in the subject line to bring my attention to the email as I won’t recognize your email.) This set is adorable!! Bonnyjean691@charter.net

        Comment by Bonnie Szurgot — April 29, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    • Hi, I can tell you about these and will make a generous offer if you want to sell shroom@frontiernet.net

      Comment by Roy — February 16, 2010 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

      • I have available some reproduction sets of the Twelvetrees versions of BLACK CUPID AWAKE & ASLEEP. Feel free to contact me about them. ( Put regarding Twelvetrees in the subject line to bring my attention to the email as I won’t recognize your email.) This set is adorable!! Bonnyjean691@charter.net

        Comment by Bonnie Szurgot — April 29, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  12. I am trying to locate any more information on M. B. Parkinson besides the ” cupid pictures”. Can anyone help with this? Thank You!

    Comment by virgil russell — December 8, 2009 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  13. i own a cupid print that is named cupids advisor,it is m.b. parkinson. it is the little girl as the cupid with an owl, has anyone ever seen this ? does anyone know what it’s worth? i purchased it about 35 years ago from a 80 year old women who said she owned it for a very long time.its about 4″x6″ in a metal oval frame.

    Comment by dena burke — December 13, 2009 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

    • dena: did you ever find any other information about your print of the girl with the owl? I just puchased one, framed, and would love to know more about it. It is a larger print – maybe 10″ x 10″. Thanks – Lia

      Comment by Lia Gutgsell — September 16, 2013 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  14. I have Cupid Asleep No. 2071 published by taber Prang Art co., can you tell me what or if it its valuable.

    Comment by Cindy Goodine — December 31, 2009 @ 5:11 pm | Reply

  15. Looking for prints of Cupid Waiting, watching, Dressing, etc.

    Comment by Sheryle — February 3, 2010 @ 12:15 am | Reply

    • I have a print of Cupid Waiting and a Watching. Printed on both prints is “Hughes &Lyday Co 1911″ If interested please contact me. Please make sure that you write Cupid Waiting in the subject box so that I will not ignore your email. Thank you. Katherine

      Comment by kirk and kathy — September 10, 2013 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  16. There is a framed copy of Cupid asleep in the San Francisco mariage liscense office.

    Comment by John — February 19, 2010 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

  17. I have a print (I assume), of Cupid Awake in an oak frame, but NOT the M.B. Parkinson one.
    It is similar, and from memory had 1906 in the bottom corner, but the bottom is now water damaged. The little girl is similar in looks, but I think it is a much nicer picture. The pose is also different, as she has her right hand tucked under her chin, her left hand across her body at about waist level, and you can see the top of a quiver with arrows behind her left shoulder.
    Does anyone know anything about this particular one? It is very beautiful and in sepia.
    Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Comment by David (Australia) — February 28, 2010 @ 8:44 am | Reply

    • I just found this print in a box in the attic a couple weeks ago. It is in an oval metal frame(16″ X 24″) and says, “Cupid Waiting”; Hughes & Lyday Co. 1911. I believe “Cupid Awake” is the print shown above? The metal frame on mine looks like wood and is damaged but gives it character. My parents built this house in 1969 and I don’t ever remember seeing it before (and I’ve been home since 1994 caring for my parents!). I absolutely love it and now it hangs proudly in my bedroom!

      Comment by Barbara — July 6, 2010 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  18. I have both of them and would be willing to sell them I found them hidden behind some baby pictures of my grand mother there in two seperate very old dark wood frames

    Comment by colleen wagner — February 28, 2010 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

    • I have the same…may I ask how much you sold them for? Thank you.

      Comment by Deb High — November 13, 2011 @ 2:54 am | Reply

  19. I realy love the many things you’ve said on cupid.I’m not a big fan but came across this while looking up a price for my mom.She has a M.P.Parkinson’s 1897 cupid awake in a large wooden frame.with his signisure on it. the picture is ok But the frame is pretty bad shape.If you can help me out I’d appreciate it. Thank You

    Comment by carol liskie — April 19, 2010 @ 8:22 am | Reply

  20. Can anyone tell me where I can find copies of the M.B. Parkinson photos that have been listed. I have the “cupid awake, the cupid asleep,and the cupid at rest” Thank you…Jan

    Comment by Janet Mast — June 2, 2010 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

    • I have a black and white photograph “This Little Pig Goes To Market”, copywright 1894, MB Parkinson, and can find NOTHING about it. Any ideas? Large wooden frame, some water spots.

      Comment by Val Stedman — July 6, 2010 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

      • Do you still have this print and is it for sale? Please email me at Bonnyjean691@charter.net

        Comment by Bonnie Szurgot — November 5, 2011 @ 10:55 am

      • I have this as well…it is huge…easily 2.5 x 3.5 feet in a very ornate wood frame. I just love the animal print blanket and the sweet mommy and daughter moment. It hangs in my daughter’s room…goes well with the 1920′s furniture from her great gram:0) Always wondered about this photo (lithograph) and find very little about it. You always hear of the cupids….but this has so much more life to it:0)

        Comment by Stephanie — January 7, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

  21. I have a different photo by Parkinson
    copyrighted 1894. It is a photo of
    three girls. The center girl has long
    dark hair and plays a musical instrument.

    I’d like to know more about this photo.

    Comment by Diane — June 11, 2010 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

    • @Diane–I have what may be the same photo of three girls and would be interested in learning more about it.

      Comment by Moira Stephens — January 5, 2011 @ 1:27 am | Reply

  22. I would like to know how old are my photo’s of Cupid Awake and Asleep. I am sure they are in the original frame as the frame is all wooden with two heart shapes which the photo’s are in. The nails in the back of the frame are square and each photo has a backing of wood behind it. The size of the heart shape is about 2ins X 2ins. I have owned it for 43yrs.
    I always thought it was Happy and Sad Cupids until now. It has the copyright 1879 M.B.Parkinson.
    If you have a value on it that would be interesting as well. Hope you can help.. Thank You.

    Comment by Bonnie Beven — August 3, 2010 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  23. Please keep me up to date

    Comment by Bonnie Beven — August 3, 2010 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

  24. I would love to find a print of M. B. Parkinson’s “Dinner In The Barn”, of two children, a boy and girl sitting on bales of hay and feeding kittens. The girl wears a big white bonnet and the boy a straw hat. Thank you for any information on where I might look for it.

    Comment by Lindsey Durrance — August 19, 2010 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  25. I have a religious picture by HUGHES & LYDAY CO., DETROIT, copyright 1909,
    #4779. I belonged to my grandparents. Does anybody have any information on this?

    Comment by DEBBIE — September 15, 2010 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  26. I have a large photo titled He’ll take care of us. Has any one information on this print of a man (who looks like Harpo Marx) and two young girls.

    Comment by Jeanette — September 20, 2010 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

    • Hi, I think I have the same photo, please reply so we can compare notes. Thx

      Comment by ReisaK — July 25, 2011 @ 3:08 pm | Reply

  27. I have a large print by MB Parkinson entitled
    “I’ll take care of you” Published by Wm Bruns, NY
    from “Life & Cope Registrated” 1886. It is a
    picture of old woman holding child about 3 or 4 years.
    Does anyone know anything about this print. It has
    a large heavy carved wooded frame.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Elaine Ryan — September 27, 2010 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

    • Hi Elaine,
      I also have, what I think, is the print you are describing. Does the little girl have her arms wrapped around the old lady’s neck in an embrace? Mine too, is in a heavy, wood carved frame. I actually got it at a tag sale, only to discover that the back matting was an oil sepia of Mother Mary; what a discovery! Hav you found out any information about this picture?

      Comment by Leah — December 14, 2010 @ 9:44 am | Reply

    • I also have this print and have never been able to find out anything about it. My parents found it at a flea market in Florida and bought it for a song. Any idea it’s worth?

      Comment by Deb anderson — February 12, 2014 @ 11:15 am | Reply

  28. I found a picture of a little girl on a tree limb with an owl whispering in her ear, she is blindfolded. It appears to be almost like a photo, on silk or satin material. I think it is by MB Parkinson, it is titled Cupid’s Advisor, from what I have found out. Any one know anthing else about this piece?

    Comment by Kathyb — January 28, 2011 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

    • I was so happy to see you have this print. I have
      one also, but has gotten water damage. I love this print so much. did you find anything out about yours?
      would you be interested in selling it? I know nothing about it…I just know ours has been in the family for many years. If you get this could you please contact me?

      kmp2171@hotmail.com

      Comment by kristy — November 9, 2011 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

      • hi! i have this print. i want to know what it all means. why is the girl blindfolded? what is the owl saying to the girl? why is she on a tree limb? etc. etc. ANYONE KNOW?

        Comment by casey conway — November 13, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    • I would love to know more about this print. I find it interesting, yet creepy. My name is erin ann and can be reached at erinann924@yahoo.com. there is a story in this print, but i havent a clue what it all means.

      Comment by casey conway — November 13, 2011 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

  29. I have cupid awake and sleeping, they are #1802 and 1803 copyrighted by the Taber Prang Art Co. in Springfield Mass. The picture (pictures) are in a wood frame. They have been in the family for many years.

    Comment by Carolyn — February 15, 2011 @ 8:03 pm | Reply

    • Did you ever get a reply? I have the same…and was wondering…?

      Comment by Deb High — November 13, 2011 @ 2:40 am | Reply

  30. i have a very old picture frame with one of the cupids pictures – it says – paintings by m.b.parkinson 1897 – and i have anouther old picture that is verry interesting – is there someone that would like to buy these paintings – 248 202 6588 – call me

    Comment by mike lamb — May 16, 2011 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  31. Need info. reg. Hughes & Lyday. I have one by them labeled Mother and Child at window (young woman holding a child sitting by a window). This is rectangular and marked Hughes & Lyday 1911 and a number 6003. Any help would be appreciated.

    Comment by caroline murray — May 19, 2011 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

  32. i also have one with an older girl playing a stringed instrument with two younger girls at her sides. Just beautiful. It is copyrighted 1894 with M.B. Parkinson signature. Anyone have any idea what it is worth if anything. I’m keeping it regardless.

    Comment by Martha Stewart — August 7, 2011 @ 8:17 pm | Reply

    • ” i also have one with an older girl playing a stringed instrument with two younger girls at her sides. ”

      I have that very same one!

      I kept admiring it at an antique store for several months last year. The price was $80. Then they had a half price sale and I scooped it up for $40. I now have it proudly displayed in my den. I love it !

      A

      Comment by Atossa — August 17, 2011 @ 1:13 am | Reply

      • I would really like to buy your print and would be willing to pay you twice what you paid if you would sell it. If you are interested, email me. Bonnie Jean

        Comment by Bonnie Szurgot — November 5, 2011 @ 11:00 am

  33. Thanks so much.

    Comment by Sandra Maupin — November 9, 2011 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  34. I also, have a copy of the Cupid Asleep 1893. It is for sale.

    Comment by Victoria Joe — December 14, 2011 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  35. I just found this site and am so excited. I also have a Cupid Asleep #1901 published by Taber Prang Art Co. Springfield, Mass. It has been in the family for several generations. I used to look at it on my grandmothers wall, she had received it from her mother. I love looking at it. Would love to find out how to determine its worth. Any help would be appreciated. reg-linda@sbcglobal.net

    Comment by Linda Petersen — January 7, 2012 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  36. I have the Cupid Awake #1894 and the Cupid Asleep # 1895 also, I have the Madonna print # 1993. If anyone knows the value please let me know. I found these in an old picture frame I purchased years ago behind another picture.

    Comment by Perry C. Gaskins — February 24, 2012 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  37. Looking for prints of Parkinson’s owl girl. Can anyone help me? Thanks.

    Comment by janie shepherd harding — March 1, 2012 @ 5:53 am | Reply

    • I have this picture for sale. Please contact me Bonnyjean691@charter.net. Put PARKISNON CUPID in the subject line because I won’t recognize your email. Thanks. Bonnie Jean

      Comment by Bonnie Szurgot — April 29, 2012 @ 9:27 am | Reply

  38. I have not seen a value on the whole site. I guess its what you want to pay and hope the seller knows if it’s original or a copy. I too have Cupid Awake and Cupid asleep. They will be listed on EBAY in the next few days. They are originals from Taber Prang Art co Springfield Mass. Number 1895 and the other is intact in the original frame so I will not take it out. They have identical period frames but one had the backing taken off . I found them in an attic wrapped in paper. They are approx 9×12. and have copyright 1897 M B Parkinson on the arrows. If you would like to make an offer please email me at trudyconley@yahoo.com I will respond. Thanks, Trudy

    Comment by Trudy Conley — May 3, 2012 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  39. I began my quests for Cupids like these after my great granmother was going to throw out an original 29′ x 21″ in the wood- painted plaster frame. The collection is now at 58, most of which were of Josephine Anderson. I have paid from $0 to 140 for them. Almost all of them have the Taber Prang print stamp on the back- I won’t buy them unless the dealer will remove the picture, and show me the stamp!

    Comment by Chuck Schneider — August 4, 2012 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

    • Cupid Awake & Cupid Asleep, Nos.1890 & 1891, published by Taber Prang Art Company, Springfield, Massachusetts stamped on lower back of sepia print(not tinted) in 5 1/2″ x 7″ tiger tin oval frames w/original glass. Please contact me if you are interested in buying these otherwise I will place them in my flea market space before the holidays. Thanks!

      Comment by patricia h. hoffman — November 18, 2012 @ 9:37 pm | Reply

  40. Looking for info on a Hughes & Lyday 1911(6003). A woman with a child by a window. Any help would be appreciated.

    Comment by Cindy Healey — October 20, 2012 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  41. Hi I have cupid awake and asleep. They were my great grandmothers. Does anyone know how to tell for sure if they are originals or copies? If there is a number on the back does that indicate they are reprodutions? Vice versa if no number are they originals? Thanks. Debra from New Zealand.

    Comment by Debra — December 17, 2012 @ 1:24 am | Reply

  42. .

    Mine is a wonderful lithograph of three girls, one playing a musical instrument.

    The words, “Copyright 1894 by Parkinson”, are at the bottom right of the image.

    .

    Comment by Diane — December 19, 2012 @ 4:56 am | Reply

  43. Anyone have more info about the “This little Piggy went to market” photo (lithograph)? It is very large, 2.5 x 3.5 feet easy in a very ornate frame. small child and mother holding her toe…all on a animal print blanket. ste.phunny@yahoo.com

    Comment by Stephanie — January 7, 2013 @ 8:14 pm | Reply

  44. I have a 1911 Hughes and Lyday Cupid Watching print and I would like to find out it’s worth.

    Comment by Jenifer — March 12, 2013 @ 5:45 pm | Reply

  45. I have a set of cupids, in square frames that are 25.5inchs x 21.5inches. one says cupid asleep, and the other i think says cupid playing. the young girl is playing the flute (recorder) i have read heaps about cupid asleep but have never seen another one of cupid playing. does anyone have any information on this. they were both passed down from the family farm house, apparenly my great grandparents bought them out from england around the turn of last century so i know there old, but not sure if they are originals or reprints. regards Lynette

    Comment by Lynette Nicolaou — March 26, 2013 @ 11:10 pm | Reply

  46. I have 2 prints that look like the Parkinsen cupid prints. The Cupids in the both prints are holding Hearts.
    They are in metal frames with old wavy glass. Can anyone help me? Thanks Carol

    Comment by Carol — October 31, 2013 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  47. ??I have a 1911 cupid watching picture 16 by20 the name signed on it is c HUghes&lyday Co. I would like to no what it is worth

    Comment by Tim pendergrass — March 18, 2014 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  48. I have a large cupid print in a beautiful oak frame. She appears to be the same girl in the awake and asleep pics only she’s a few years older and is holding flowers in her hands. Does anyone know about this one?

    Comment by Susan carroll — May 21, 2014 @ 10:42 am | Reply

  49. I have an original black cupid awake. It is about 6 inches in length and in a tin frame. Can anyone give me any info. on this please and maybe the value. Thanks in advance for any help. Much appreciated.

    Comment by Betsy — July 19, 2014 @ 5:41 pm | Reply


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