Hans Christian Andersen was often a houseguest of wealthy patrons. As a form of repayment he would gather the family’s children and, while he began to sketch and cut into a piece of paper, would tell a partially improvised tale. By the tale’s completion, he would unfold a completed paper cutting and present it to his audience. The current example apparently follows the story of a soldier who has to leave his sweetheart behind and go off to war. A note pasted on the verso of the backing board, apparently in Andersen’s hand, presents this to the Speerschneider children at Castle Glücksburg.