With Yuletide cheer we are featuring a selection of nineteenth and twentieth century illuminated manuscripts. It was during the febrile 1800s that an appreciation of Gothic design and the artistry of the Middle Ages came to full fruition, and both professional artists and gifted amateurs strove to capture the beauty of illumination in books and other artwork. Also, the new form of color printing known as chromolithography was especially well-suited to recreating the richness of the ancient art form.
Our fair schedule resumes in the New Year with the San Francisco Antiquarian Print & Paper Fair on February 1st and 2nd at the Fort Mason Center and the California International Antiquarian Book Fair beginning the following Thursday in Pasadena. More details will follow.
Title Autograph Album with Inscription and Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier Dated 1875
Binding Full Calf
Book Condition Good
Publisher Amesbury, MA 1875
Seller ID 001877
The poem epitomizes Whittier's aphoristic reads: "Mine evening's, thine the morning's star, Across the distance faint and far, I take my life's experience thus: Not what we seem but what we are, Not what we take, but what we give, Not what we preach, but how we live, Availeth us." The inscription was written to Etta Goodrich, whose album this was, and who probably was a neighbor of Whittier's, based on a number of other inscriptions being made in Amesbury or towns nearby. It is likely that Ms. Goodrich was also a young adult, since that was generally the age bracket of someone that would have kept an autograph album. All the other entries are dated 1875 or 1876 and were made either in Massachusetts or Maine, and there are some chromolithographic die-cuts. But it is the poem, with its wise counsel, that makes this album an intriguing and valuable item. The album is oblong, a mere 5 by 3 inches.