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Paper cut-outs

In 1804, Princess Elizabeth was portrayed by the artist Henry Edridge sitting at a desk and making paper cut-outs with her scissors (see illustration above). Princess Elizabeth and her sisters may have been introduced to this art form by Mrs Delany (1700 – 88), who was celebrated for her cut-outs, collages and silhouettes of flowers, some of which belonged to Queen Charlotte. The small frame contains examples of cut-outs by Princess Elizabeth which were originally kept in the small notebook shown open below. Some of the Princess’s silhouettes from the notebook are associated with her designs for the decoration of panels of the Cross Gallery at Frogmore House in the 1790s. The little book and the paper cut-outs that were gradually inserted therein were presented by Princess Elizabeth to her friend Sarah Sophia Banks (1744 – 1818), sister of the naturalist Sir Joseph Banks (1743 – 1820). A note from the recipient, preserved inside the volume, records that: ‘This delightful Book with Her Royal Highnesses cipher was a present from The Princess Elizabeth July 12 1808. It contains some very beautiful and to me invaluable cuttings out by Her Royal Highness’.