Great Men of God. Biographies of Patriarchs, Prophets, Kings and Apostles… [Salesman’s Sample Book].

1875 canvassing book with steel engravings and some manuscript subscription entries


Salesman’s sample book or canvassing book with 12 steel engravings for a popular, illustrated Bible reference book, Great Men of God. Biographies of Patriarchs, Prophets, Kings and Apostles, Selected from the Works of Doctor Guthrie, Dean Stanley, Bishop Oxenden, and Other Eminent Divines. With Original Sketches…forming a Concise Bible History and Gallery of Sacred Portraits.

The salesman’s dummy emulates two different versions the published book: de luxe French morocco leather bound and a less expensive alternative, English cloth, seen here in green. The leather binding, with its debossed, heavy boards is reminiscent of large “parlor” Bibles published throughout the Victorian era. The complete table of contents and selected pages of text give a sense of the projected book’s scope and contents.

In addition, the sample book features a representative selection of the steel engraved plates used to illustrate the published octavo, projected to be 560 pages.

Blank subscription leaves to record the salesman’s orders conclude the volume. This particular canvasser worked on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Three subscriptions are recorded in pencil manuscript from the towns of Rising Sun and Chestertown, all to be bound in cloth.

Interesting late 19th-century salesman’s sample book for a popular, illustrated Bible reference work presenting representations of two styles of trade bookbindings.


Description: Great Men of God. Biographies of Patriarchs, Prophets, Kings and Apostles… [Salesman’s Sample Book].

New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1875. Steel engraved frontispiece, [54]ff. +  and [11] steel engraved plates. Canvassing Book. 9½ x 6¼ inches. Debossed leather, gilt decorated upper leather cover and gilt decorated green cloth lower cover; plain green cloth spine. Two gilt-decorated bookbinding spine samples or backstrips (leather and cloth) mounted on front endpaper. A few manuscript additions to subscriber leaves at end. Some rubbing to edges; old, inexpert mend to cloth spine along upper, rear joint; otherwise, very good.

[3727312]

OCLC 80583777, one copy (AAS).


Price: $125.00