One of the fun things about digging through old family papers is discovering the whimsical pieces that someone has tucked away. My great-great grandfather, Carl Straube, tucked away a little treasure for the new year.
This two-sided mid-19th century "mock coupon," printed on what seems like newsprint is full of curious tidbits that remain a mystery until we translate them.
I see two men toasting on one side with other images of birds, cherubs, and 19th century gentlemen and ladies. The other side shows what looks upon close inspection to be a stork, images of domestic happiness and phrases and poems printed all over, including around the border.
Looking at them, it's clear that someone took some time to create these light-hearted tickets in celebration of the new year. The front wishes the ticket-holder to "360 and Five Happiness Filled Day" along with many other minor well-wishing, and appears to be signed by at least three different people.
I love looking at some of the "minor" details. What is "Vivat Sylvester"?....It's "Long Live Sylvester!" How fascinating to learn that St. Sylvester's feast day, often celebrated in German-speaking countries is December 31. How appropriate for New Year's "ticket."
I wonder if this ticket was an annual tradition or something for a unique special year. Was it one or two people who created it or maybe part of a club (Verein) tradition?
I don't know....yet. I'm still digging through more family papers. Maybe I'll find more clues.
In any case, it's opened my eyes into the kinds of treasures you might find buried in those family papers.