A surprise party / W.H. Beard 1872.
Print shows a young boy with a rifle and a dead bird, crawling beneath a fallen tree in the forest that rests at an oblique angle; standing on the trunk of the tree, near the base, is a black bear looking down at the boy.
Signed on stone on lower left: W.H. Beard 1872.
Entered according to act of Congress AD 1873(?) by [...].
Most of the copyright statement is illegible.
The fabric backing obscures a label attached to the verso of the print.
Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, introduced the subject of colored lithography in 1818. Printers in other countries, such as France and England, were also started producing color prints. The first American chromolithograph—a portrait of Reverend F. W. P. Greenwood—was created by William Sharp in 1840. Chromolithographs became so popular in American culture that the era has been labeled as "chromo civilization". During the Victorian times, chromolithographs populated children's and fine arts publications, as well as advertising art, in trade cards, labels, and posters. They were also used for advertisements, popular prints, and medical or scientific books.