Free Vintage Outdoor Illustration for Collage, Graphic Design, Papercrafts or Scrapbooking: Gathering Cowslips, 1872

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moonè’s sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
William Shakespeare, Fairy Land I

A vintage outdoor illustration from 1872 showing two little girls gathering cowslips (Primula veris) in the forest. In Shakespeare's time, cowslips were often associated with fairies and magic. These “faerie cups” were believed to have the ability to lead unsuspecting wanderers down paths of adventure, mischief, and hidden treasure.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Photo credit: Wikipedia

In 19th century England, the yellow blooms of the common cowslip was widely held to signify “winning grace” and “comeliness.” In the Victorian language of flowers, the cowslip symbolized youth, rusticity, pensiveness, and healing.

You can download the vintage illustration as a free 6" x 9" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for collage, graphic design, papercrafts or scrapbooking projects here.

Creative Commons Licence
Vintage illustration is from my personal collection of ephemera. All digital scans by are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please credit and link back to as your source if you use or share this work.