The Original Chatterbox Picture Gallery, Pictures and Verse for Little Folks.
Bright American trade bookbinding for a Victorian children’s picture book in words of one syllable
Very scarce heavily illustrated Victorian children’s picture book issued for the Christmas holiday trade. A three-quarter-page engraving illustrates each page, beneath which is a poetical quatrain in words of one syllable.
The dramatic gilt, black, and blind-stamped decorations of its covers and spine are particularly fresh for a children’s book. A chromolithographic illustration of a girl and her doll mounted on the upper cover is beautifully framed by the binder’s art. A period advert described the binding as having “illuminated boards.”
Charming, large-format illustrations depict scenes from daily life; events and situations that Victorian children could relate to: “The Pout-ing Boy,” “Grand-pa’s Dar-ling,” “Go-ing to Mar-ket,” “Tom-my the Boot-black,” “Nam-ing the Cow,” “The School-mates,” “Rob-bing the Bird’s Nest,” and “A Won-der-ful Ba-by.”
That the fancily-bound 1880 book (the date is right on the title page) was aimed for the Christmas trade is in evidence via its 1879 copyright date and Christmas 1879 gift inscription. Its first illustration is of Santa Claus wreathed in pipe smoke; this is followed by a 20-line poem which opens: “When San-ta Claus comes, with his pack full of toys, / And can-dy and cake for the good girls and boys…” Other Christmas themes seen within are the engravings and quatrains for “The Car-ol Sing-ers” and “Christ-mas Hol-i-days.”
Well-preserved, large-format American Victorian children’s picture book in a fresh publisher’s trade cloth binding. Only four locations within OCLC, two of these being at BPL.
Description: The Original Chatterbox Picture Gallery, Pictures and Verse for Little Folks.
Boston: Estes & Lauriat, (1879) 1880. First Edition. pp. Children’s Picture Book. Large Square 8vo. 10 x 8 inches. Publisher’s gilt, black, and blind decorated brown cloth with chromolithographic paper onlay mounted on upper cover; patterned endpapers. Pages unnumbered. Contemporary Christmas gift inscription dated 1879. Minor rubbing at tips, one leaf with a two inch or so stress fracture, and a very few leaves with closed tears; an exceptional bright binding with bright gilt.
OCLC: 52476149, four copies (Ringling College; BPL ; U. So. Miss., Hattiesburg).
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