Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Day!

I found this wonderfully illustrated Leap Year postcard a few years back and have waited almost the full 5 years to put it to use! Although the long-term plan is to incorporate it into a large collage project, sharing it on the blog at least gets it seen and appreciated while that project develops.  Dating to 1908, I love the detailed dress and hat of the woman, the art-nouveau influenced border design and the place on the card where a woman could sign her name.

In case you are unfamiliar with the folk tradition associated with Leap Day, it is believed in many cultures that the Leap Year, or, February 29th in particular, is a time when a woman may propose to a man.  As you can see in the postcard above purchased recently from another Etsy seller, she is doing more than asking; she's ropin'!   It was not until I sat down to do this post that I realized that both cards were illustrated by the same artist.  His name is August Hutaf, and, according to this biography, his "Leap Year Series"  (one from 1907 and one from 1908, one each represented here) is some of his best known work.  What I loved was the fact that he was 6' 4" and over 300 lbs yet created these wonderfully charming, whimsical and stylish illustrations.  Here is a photo of him hard at work on a mural:


If you wish to add a "Hutaf" Leap Year card to your own collection, I noticed this one still available on Etsy:

Hutaf Leap Year postcard from ImagesofthePast
Or, you can also find cards from other artists like this humorous card in black and white:

1912 Leap Year Postcard from CheekyPrincess007
If you are especially adventurous, this book from 1928 includes games specifically designed for the Leap Year!

1928 Leap Year (and more) Games Book from PresenceRemembered
Maybe you have been awaiting this year, or, this very day to pop the question to someone special?  Need some ideas?  We also found a few of those on Etsy:

Shy about coming out with the question?  Wear this around your neck and hope your intentions come through over dinner.  This lovely piece custom made by SonnetLondon
Words simply too much?  Try the suggestion of this presentation from ProfessorTiny
Does competition put you in the mood?  Challenge your partner to this game and see if he gets the hint.  Vintage game from Villa15Vintage

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