"St. Nicholas. Dec. 6th. A.D. 343"
Overall: 11 x 7 1/2 in. (28 x 19 cm)
Printed for the New-York Historical Society, New York: 1810. Reprinted by Alexander Anderson, 1864.
This broadside, engraved by Dr. Alexander Anderson in 1810 and re-engraved by the artist in 1864, was distributed to the New-York Historical Society for its first celebration of the Festival of St. Nicholas on December 6th, 1810. The saint here retains his traditional religious clothing and pose, but the hearth, drawn as a traditional Dutch fireside, with a teakettle, stack of waffles, household cat, and stockings filled with gifts for the good girl perched above, and - on the right - birch rods for the naughty boy next to her - closely resembles the fireplace that would become an essential feature of American Christmas celebrations. (In many European countries, Santa's gifts were - and are - placed on bedposts or in wooden shoes). A children's song in Dutch accompanies the image.
New-York Historical Society Library
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.