Title Scrap Book Vol. I Poetry Album with Naive Watercolors
Binding Leather spine, marbled paper on limp card for boa
Book Condition Very Good
Publisher England 1845
Seller ID 005981
Charming naive watercolors illustrating well-known poems and excerpts from Shakespeare. 8vo. 19 by 16.5 cm. Unpaginated, 90 pages of verse and 46 watercolored illustrations. Most of the watercolors are on rectos, a few on versos, and a few instances of both. While only two of the watercolors is full page, most dominate their page, regardless of size, arresting the eye, whether place above, below, in the middle, or to the side and wrapping around the verse. The poetry is wide-ranging, with some prevalance of battle, patriotic and Scottish subject matter. Poems include "The Battle of Trafalgar", "Ode on the death of a cat", "The Bonnets of bonnie Dundee", "The Inchcape Rock", "Chevy Chase", "The Cheviot Hills", or from Shakespeare, "Ariel's Song", long passages from "Julius Caesar", "Richard II" and "Henry IV". As to the folk art-ish quality of the artwork, our supposition is that these were done by an adolescent man. The human figures are generally rather simply rendered, lacking perhaps in detail and individualized nuance, while never violating proportion and never coming off as coarse. Ships, foliage, background, virtually everything else, is done prettily. Overall this album has a lovely cohesive charisma that sets it apart from so many early Victorian albums of the type. The name of M. Weston Moggridge is inscribed and dated on the inside cover and so we presume he is the artist. Moderate wear.