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Index Antique Letterpress Printers Block Museum :: Damosel's Antique Printer's Blocks
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Artist Nelson White Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
C1362

Size: 14.5 x 22 pica ( 2 7/16 x 3 5/8 inch )

Description: Gorgeous antique block by the artist Nelson White. This one features a 1920s era young lady watering her flowers. A scene that bares a strong resemblance to the nursery rhyme Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow.

Like many nursery rhymes, it has acquired various historical explanations. One is that it refers to Mary I of Scotland, with "how does your garden grow" referring to her reign, "silver bells" referring to (Catholic) cathedral bells, "cockle shells" insinuating that her husband cheated on her, and "pretty maids all in a row" referring to her babies that died.

Another claims that it refers to Mary I of England and her attempts to restore England to Roman Catholicism. In this version, the "cockle shells" are identified with the symbol of pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James in Spain and the "pretty maids all in a row" with nuns. Hardwood Printers Block with electrotype copper faceplate.

Foundry Marking: None

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