Oblaten, Glanzbilder, Victorian scrap diecuts, bokmšrken, Sammelbilder, collectible glossy prints… What ever you call them, you’ll find a favorite image among them – or hundreds! There are roses, birds, animals, pretty ladies, faries, babies, cartoon characters, angels, real or imaginary royalty, santas, seasonal and celebratory images. And more!
As you might have guessed already, I am a fan and a collector, and this blog post is all about that.
I am Swedish, so I call these glossy images bokmšrken (bookmarks) and since I decided to share them in a video, I’ve been doing a little bit of research to learn more about their history. It’s quite hard to pin-point when the first one was produced, but it was sometime during the 1800s, as color printing got more common then. At first they were expensive and as that they were treasured by ladies gluing them into their poetry albums, but as printing got cheaper kids started to collect them as well.
But before I tell you more abut glanzbilder as they’re called in German, here’s my video showing you many of my thrifted glossy images, if not vintage so most of them reproductions of vintage images.
Video of my thrifted scrap diecuts
I like the vintage ones most. Some are cute, some kitchy, some adorable and some funny or filled with story and all of them breathing of childhood memories, at least for me. :-)
If you can’t see the video above, click Collecting cute images / Victorian scrap, die-cuts to watch it on YouTube directly, where you also can give it a thumbs up and a comment if you have the time. :-)
The History of Glanzebilder
Glanzebilder originates from Germany, as you can tell by their most common name. They are colored pictures printed on paper using the chromolithography process (color printing or color lithography was patented in 1837) for decorative purposes. They are made for exchange and collecting, or to use as decorations in albums or crafts (like hanging in the Christmas tree or decorating letters). They’re even used to decorate cookies in Germany.
Unlike stickers, glossy pictures are not self-adhesive. The paper is embossed though, and they come in sheets on different themes, that you then cut apart. Each image is indivudually cut out, but attached to others with a little strip of white paper that you cut away. All of this according to the German wikipage on Glanzbild.
We have always been fascinated with images and depictions of our world of course, so it’ not strange that these little gems got so successful and continues to be produced (there are even some sold via Amazon!). In Scandinavia particularly is seams, we are still loving our scrap die-cut glossy images. I guess they are the predecessors of stickers, football cards and other collectible cards like Pokemon cards for example.
A very common theme is roses and angels on clouds, and some are decorated with heavy layers of glitter to resemble snow.
Today there are a lot of grown-up collectors around Europe that sells or trades vintage variations of these images online, and especially sought after are whole sheets that have been preserved.
Personally, I’m not interested in their “value” and prefer to buy second-hand reproductions because I’m interested in using mine in arts and crafts.
My love of Scrap Die-Cuts
I’ve loved cute images since an early age, so of course I collected scrap diecuts. All the girls I knew did. I kept mine in albums and sorted through them at times, and asked for new ones, I guess, when we were in town. I don’t remember much of it, since I was very young. 5-8 years old maybe? I got a few ones that I think belonged to my mother when she was a kid, and those of course were my favorites although they were glued to loose papers!
I still have my collection since I was a kid, and it sits untouched and preserved in a box in the attic somewhere. Maybe it is a testament to my unwillingness to let go of the things I like. I just don’t seam to be able to shed my previous loves, no matter how old I get… At times I see it as a weakness, other times I am glad I have so many saved treasures!
But I have also been collecting scrap die cuts from flea markets with the thought that I could use them in my collage art or notebooks… But I have not really been using them much in all these years, although now as you see in the video, I got so many I think it’s time I start using them!
Right. I think it’s time to start!
I have used some copies of glanzebilder though, that I scanned and printed myself many years ago. They’re still up on the blog if you want to grab them : Printable vintage Scrap Die Cut Illustrations. I’d love to see what you make with them…
Have you ever collected or seen this kind of glossy images, or did you collect other kinds of images (or items) when you were a kid?