New York: Ca. 1840. The original steel printing plate and image of an American teacher's reward of merit. It pictures a young woman in three quarter length, lifting a rose to her nose, the other hand supporting a wicker basket full of roses and Cupid over her head. She wears a gown with laced bodice embroidered with flowers, and a soft cloth cap. Engraved below the image, "Reward of Merit", and on the next line, "Presented to .... By ....".
Rewards of merit were given to a student in recognition of achievement and certain qualities, perhaps sweet comportment in this case. Drawn by T. Harper and engraved by Henry S. Sadd, whose engravings, including many of George Washington, are held in the Library of Congress.
The accompanying print with a period note, written in pencil, "Love Among the Roses", and Reward of Merit struck through in pencil.
The steel printing plate measures 7 x 9 1/2". Slight rusting in margin, not affecting the plate. The print laid down on card stock, 6 1/2 x 9". Numbered in china marker and labeled at the upper edges. Ruffled at edges, a crack at the bottom edge, through the end of the title and touching the edge of the engraved illustration. Very good overall. Item #24331