Terry Kovel says that we've certainly changed over the years with the way we celebrate Mother's Day. A hundred years ago, the preferred gift would have been a sentimental motto, perhaps on an embroidered sampler or a framed print. She notes that the Victorian home might have a framed cardboard sampler of "What is Home Without Mother" and just a few years later the 1920's home would have a framed gift motto, one showing the perfect mother surrounded by adoring children.
The Buzza Company made many of these, what we would call today, sappy mottoes. Authors were numerous and included such well-knowns as Edgar A. Guest and Maurine Hathaway.
Although The Buzza Company is one of the best known producers of these framed lithographs, other companies made the sentimental favorites as well. Kovel said that although these framed mottos might not be exactly plentiful, usually a few can be found when browsing the flea markets, especially when you know what you're looking for. Also look for framed pieces are available online. You can expect to pay in the $20 - $40 range for most examples, but prices can range up to $125. for framed pieces in excellent condition.
If my kids got me one of those today I would probably take their temperature, but all kidding aside, these would be a perfect gift for today's mom who loves antiques and vintage items.
Asked for more Mother's Day themed gift ideas, Kovel suggested the Prayer Lady pieces from Enesco, embroidered Mother samplers or perhaps vintage angel and heart pieces.
Then I asked Terry Kovel what her favorite Mother's Day gifts have been. She said the most memorable have been the homemade pieces from her children and now from her grandchildren. For many years she received a Pixie Ware piece from Holt-Howard, until she finally told her children the prices were getting too high to keep buying them! Nowadays, since she loves to garden, she often gets something for the garden or for their well-known general store.
From the Kovels:
The Buzza Company, founded in Minneapolis in 1907, was the first big maker of gift mottoes, framed lithographs with pleasant pictures and syrupy verses on family, friendship, religion, patriotic, and other topics. For Mother, Buzza mottoes expressed mushy sentiments like "No love like Mother Love ever has shone. No other worship abides and endures, Faithful, unselfish and patient like yours"; and "God sent the birds and sunshine, to gladden all the world. He sent the foliage and flowers in radiance unfurled. He sent the June, the stars, the moon, the pearly dewdrops sweet. Ant then He sent you Mother dear, to make it all complete." Very popular in the 1920s and '30s, but not like popular cards today with sentiments like Hallmark's "Mom, You always said, "Someday, you'll thanks me. And as usual, you were right! Thanks! (Love you!) Happy Mother's Day!" or "just for you/. Happy Mother's Day!"
Note: To My Mother is one of several Buzza framed mottos available on the Vintage Twiceshop on Etsy. Price for the 1927 print is $25.