Paris, November 7, 1884

Illustrated envelope from Maxfield Parrish to Henry Bancroft, Paris, November 7, 1884

Sent from Paris just after Halloween, Parrish decorated this envelope with black crows festooning the capital “M” and “H”, a skeletal man’s face in a decorative surround for his stamp, and snakes threatening a bird whose top-hated head appears to have broken through the paper of the envelope. The sealed flap of paper of the envelope’s back is adorned with a drawn key and keyhole with what appears to be a mail slot underneath. To the right of the name Swarthmore College is drawn a lit candle signifying the illumination of knowledge to be found at the school.