Title Illustrated Manuscript of two poems: "To a Woodman's Hut there came one day." and "My Voice is still for War." [From "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" and Addison's "Cato", respectively]
Binding Full Pebbled Leather, Blindstamped and Gilt Decora
Book Condition Very Good
Seller ID 005421
N.p., but American. N.d., circa 1860. Oblong, 23 by 28.5 cm. Two text leaves, each with one of the poems rendered in full, followed by 66 leaves, each with a mounted sheet onto which is written words from a poem and is drawn in pen and ink an illustration of those words. The illustrations are inspired mostly by the single word or phrase captioned on the sheet, as opposed to the wholeness of the poem, and thus the illustrations don't always fit in with the poem, or have the most nominal relationship to it, but nonetheless, the illustrations are full of charm and fun, and they are really best viewed and enjoyed without reference to the poem. While we don't have a date for the album, the ubiquity of Civil War-era uniforms and stove pipe hats strongly suggest the 1860s. There are also interesting illustrations of slaves. Many of the illustrations look back nostalgically to an earlier era, as for instance the eighteenth century which is depicted as a world of music and dance masters and gracious society. Classical Rome is represented in abundance too, as one might expect for "Cato". In these drawings and in evocations of Medieval times, the illustrator was not reluctant to indulge in a bit of anachronistic imagery as well. We don't know who the artist was, but clearly he was a very capable amateur -- the artwork is not quite done with the polish of a professional, we would grant. Some of the illustrations are highly detailed, while others are of a sketchier nature. "To the Woodsman's Hut" gives rise to 26 of the illustrations, "Cato", 40. Repair to the joints. The binding has a few scuffs but is overall very attractive.