The NOVLART Picture Making Outfit
Deep lid box with graphic lid, 11 x 15 x 1.5 inches. Instructions for the system are printed under the lid; this kit contains all 7 stencil sets called for, plus 2 sets of colored backgrounds (10x6 and 8x5), 3 sets of toned backgrounds (10x6, 8x5, 7x3.75), 12 postcards, 12 greeting cards, three sets of powders and stamps, a rubbing cloth, and a couple of erasers. Which supplies other than the stencil sets should be included is not listed, but the box is quite well packed with extras. The lid has several stitches of tape around the edges and abrasion/wear around the lid, small chip/loss at one corner of the lid. The contents are unsurprisingly a bit dusty/powdery, containing all three colors of stencil powder and stamps. The paper envelopes are a bit fragile and two have tears near the flaps. A Very Good set, rare to find such a substantial example.
The NOVLART system was a sophisticated take on stencil kits that aspired to create professional-level graphics with "no lessons or knowledge of drawing required." The stencil outfit was featured at a 1915 London toy fair and reviewed in 'The Stationery World': "Rarely does half a crown yield as much pleasure in the form of art and recreation as with the Novlart box... after one or two experiments the newest purchaser old or young can produce pictures of real art to adorn his or her walls." The system was marketed to crafty adults who wanted to take part in picture-making fun, combining easy-to-use stencils with printed background papers and stationery templates that helped the images look more naturalistic than a typical stencil kit. It was produced through at least the early 1920s and made available for an increasing number of interests, including the alteration of photographic images.