October 2008 Archives

Paul Sandby

Paul Sandby, Album of 18th-century Scottish etchings. Graphic Arts division (GAX) GA2008- in process

Called the father of English watercolor, Paul Sandby (1731-1809) was a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. This album stems from Sandby’s early Scottish period, when he was a draughtsman with the military survey of the highlands. It holds 75 etchings on 27 sheets, assembled and printed by the artist, with dates ranging from 1747 to 1758. The etchings are primarily landscapes, with occassional Scottish street characters intermixed. One holds the comment “etched on the spot P. Sandby 1750.”

The album, with late 18th century half calf and blue/greenish marbled paper covered boards, has no title page. The only identification is a book label reading “Fasque,” which is a Scottish country house in Kincardineshire, built in 1809. The estate was purchased in 1829 by Sir John Gladstone, father of William Gladstone.

The Pic-Nic Orchestra

Edward Francis Burney (1760-1848) after James Gillray (1757-1815), The Pic-Nic Orchestra, ca.1802. Pen and ink drawing, watercolor. Transferred to graphic arts division (GAX) 2008- in process

The Pic-Nic Society was an exclusive London club, under the leadership of Lady Albina Buckinghamshire (seen here at the piano). They performed fashionable amusements for private aristocratic audiences, which were mercilessly attacked by the newspaper critics and journalists. The British caricaturist James Gillray printed at least three satires of the group, including the design seen here. The sheet owned by Princeton is attributed to Edward Francis Burney, completed after the Gilray hand-colored print was published by Hannah Humphrey on 23 April 1802 from her St. James’s Street print shop.

Also taking part in the performance is Colonel Henry Francis Greville, playing a fiddle. Note the paper hanging from his coat pocket. In the final print, words were added: “Pic Nic Concert—Imitations—Nightingale by Lord C.—Tom Tit Lord ME—Jack daw Gent G.—Screech Owl Lady B—Poll Parrot…” Perhaps the words were too small for Burney to duplicate with the brush.

On the left is Lord Mount (Richard) Edgcumbe playing a cello and behind him is Lord George James Cholmondeley on the flute. Seated on the pianist’s left is Lady Salisbury (Mary Amelia) playing the French horn with one hand. To the extreme right, opposite Greville, is an unidentified lady’s arm holding a trumpet.


Thomas Wright (1810-1877), Historical and descriptive account of the caricatures of James Gillray: comprising a political and humorous history of the latter part of the reign of George the Third (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1851.) Rare Books (Ex) NE642.G42 W9

Draper Hill, Mr. Gillray the caricaturist, a biography (Greenwich, Conn., Phaidon Publishers, [1965]) Firestone Library (F) NE642.G42 H5

James Gillray (1756-1815), The works of James Gillray, the caricaturist: with the story of his life and times (London: Chatto and Windus, [1873]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Rowlandson 989.2


Robert Burford (1791-1861), A Miscellaneous Collection of Panoramas and Others (London, 1821-32). 14 v. in 1. Graphic Arts division (GAX) in process

Panoramic displays, offering 360 degree views of exotic scenes, were enormously popular in the 1800s. Some were cleverly painted and lit to give the illusion of day turning into night. Some showed important historical events, such as battle scenes.

The panorama was invented about 1787 by the Scottish-Irish artist Robert Barker (1739-1806). From 1794 to 1863, his family ran an exhibition theater on Leicester Square, where the largest views were about 30 feet high by 90 feet across. Barker’s success led to many others such theaters throughout Europe and the United States.

Barker applied for a patent for his invention, which he called La nature à coup d’oeil, for “representing natural objects … designed so as to make observers, on whatever situation he may wish they should imagine themselves, feel as if really on the very spot.”

For more information, see the CUNY website: http://newman.baruch.cuny.edu/digital/2003/panorama/new_001.htm

No.1, Guide to the model of the battle of Waterloo.
No.2, A descriptive account of a series of pictures, representing some of the most important battles fought by the French armies in Egypt, Italy, Germany and Spain between the years 1792 and 1812.
No.3, Description of the Egyptian tomb, discovered by G.Belzoni.
No.4, Description du mausolée du maréchal Comte de Saxe, érigé dans l’Église de St.-Thomas, à Strasbourg.
No.5, Description of a view of the city and lake of Geneva, and surrounding country.
No.6, Description of a view of the town of Sydney, New South Wales; the harbour of Port Jackson and surrounding country.
No.7, Description of a view of the city of Florence, and the surrounding country.
No.8, Descriptive catalogue of the gallery of Europe & America.
No.9, Descriptive catalogue of the gallery of Asia & Africa.
No.10, Descriptive catalogue of the cosmorama panoramic exhibition, 209, Regent Street.
No.11, Description of the island and city of Corfu
No.12, Catalogue of the exhibition, called Modern Mexico.
No.13, Description of a view of the city of Mexico, and surrounding country.
No.14, Description of a view of the city of Edinburgh, and surrounding country.

Legerdemain Made Easy

Endless Amusements: or the Art of Legerdemain Made Easy to Young Persons (Boston: Theodore Abbot, 1846). Wood engraved cover and frontispiece illustration by Abel Bowen (1790-1850). Graphic Arts division (GAX) Hamilton 1533

The cover and frontispiece to this magic book were designed by Abel Bowen (1790-1850), a Boston printer. As an engraver he was self-taught and worked both in copper and on wood. A scrap of autobiography written by Bowen can be found in William H. Whitmore’s “Abel Bowen” in The Collections of the Bostonian Society, Boston 1887.Graphic Arts division (GAX) Hamilton 463

Bowen’s long career began at the age of 15 and he claimed he was the first to attempt a commercial wood engraving business in Boston. Nathaniel Dearborn made the same claim but it seems clear from Mr. Whitmore’s monograph that Bowen is entitled to be ranked as the first Boston wood engraver. Princeton owns 113 books with illustrations by Bowen, held in the Sinclair Hamilton Collection of American Illustrated Books from 1670 to 1870.

Naesevise bemerkninger

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Fabritius reklamebyrå [Norwegian firm], Naesevise bemerkninger (Kristiania [i.e. Oslo]: Fabritius & sønner, [1920?]).Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2008- in process

Norwegian advertising humor.


Posted for Professor Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones, “Topics in Latin American Literature and Ideology: Islands and Literature …”

Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin, De Americaensche zee-roovers: behelsende een pertinente en waerachtige beschrijving van alle de voornaemste roveryen, en onmenschelijcke wreedheden, die de Engelse en Franse rovers, tegens de Spanjaerden in America, gepleeght hebben… First edition (Amsterdam: Jan ten Hoorn, boeckverkoper, over ‘t Oude Heeren Logement, 1678). Rare Books: Kane Collection (ExKa) Americana 1678 Exquemelin

Translated into Spanish in 1681, into English in 1684, and into French in 1686. The work went through numerous editions in its various versions and formed the foundation for many of the histories and romances of the buccaneers published during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Digital copy: http://www.loc.gov/flash/pagebypage/buccaneers/index.html

Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin, Piratas de la America, y luz à la defensa de las costas de Indias Occidentales … / traducido de la lengua flamenca en española, por el Dor. Alonso de Buena-Maison, español, medico practico en la amplissima y magnifica ciudad de Amsterdam (Impresso en Colonia Agrippina [Cologne]: en casa de Lorenzo Struickman, 1681). Rare Books: Kane Collection (ExKa), Americana 1681 Exquemelin

Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin, Bucaniers of America, or, A true account of the most remarkable assaults committed of late years upon the coasts of the West-Indies, by bucaniers of Jamaica and Tortuga, both English and French. Wherein are contained more especially, the unparrallel’d exploits of Sir Henry Morgan, our English Jamaican hero, who sack’d Puerto Velo, burnt Panama, &c. Written originally in Dutch, by John Esquemeling, one of the bucaniers, who was present at those tragedies; and thence translated into Spanish, by Alonso de Bonne-Maison … Now faithfully rendered into English (London: Printed for W. Crooke, at the Green Dragon without Temple-bar, 1684-1685). “This copy consists of the first English edition & the second vol. of the second English edition, the latter containing matter not in the first.” Rare Books: Kane Collection (ExKa) Americana 1684b Exquemelin

Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin, The history of the bucaniers: being an impartial relation of all the battels, sieges, and other most eminent assaults committed for several years upon the coasts of the West-Indies by the pirates of Jamaica and Tortuga… (London: Printed for Tho. Malthus, 1684). Rare Books: Kane Collection (ExKa) Americana 1684 Exquemelin

Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin, Piratas de la América, y luz a la defensa de las costas de Indias Occidentales: en que se tratan las cosas notables de los viages, descripcion de las islas Española, Tortuga, Jamayca, de sus frutos y producciones, política de sus habitantes, guerras y encuentros entre Españoles y Franceses, origen de los piratas, y su modo de vivir, la toma é incendio de la ciudad de Panamá, invasion de varias plazas de la América por los robadores franceses, Lolonois y Morgan (Madrid: Ramón Ruiz, 1793). Rare Books: Kane Collection (ExKa) Americana 1793 Exquemelin

Life and Death Masks

Lincoln Franklin Mendelson

Laurence Hutton was the dramatic critic for the New York Evening Mail from 1872 to 1874 and literary editor of Harper’s Magazine from 1886 to 1898. In 1897, he received the degree of A.M. from Princeton and presented the University with “a collection of over sixty death masks of distinguished men.”

“Mr. Hutton has been at infinite pains to make this collection as complete as possible,” reported The New York Times, “It represents the researches [sic] and untiring labor of over thirty years.” Hutton traveled around the world to collect these plaster casts, looking in obscure curiosity shops and major museums, where many curators granted Hutton permission to have copies made from their masks.

A complete set of digital images of these masks can be found at: http://libweb.princeton.edu/libraries

The collection began almost by accident while shopping in New York City. Hutton was interrupted by a ragged boy trying to sell a cast of a human face, unquestionably that of Benjamin Franklin. He purchased it for two shillings and offered another quarter if the boy showed him where he found it. In a couple of ash-barrels on Second Street were dozens of casts of Washington, Sheridan, Cromwell, and many others, which Hutton carted home.

Some years later, Hutton read an illustrated volume of lectures by the well-known phrenologist George Combe and was surprised to see reproductions of many of these same masks. Combe had come to the United States in 1838-39 and Hutton concluded that his collection had either been left behind or given to someone and then, years later, was discarded on the Lower East Side.

Hutton went to great lengths to gather historical documentation on his masks and wrote about the collection in articles, lectures, and a book entitled Portraits in Plaster. In his Talks in a Library he confirmed that, “with the exception of the cast of Shakespeare, the only cast in the collection which is not from nature is that of Elizabeth of England; and these two are preserved only because they are both supposed and believed to have been based upon masks from death.”

When Hutton died of pneumonia in 1904, his obituary in The New York Times, remarked once again on his death mask collection but did not mention whether provisions had been made to take a death mask of Hutton himself.

For a bibliography on Hutton and his collection, continue below.

Western Americana and Music

In 1843, lithographer Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896) left the studio of Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) to establish his own printing firm in New York City. From 1845 to 1857, he formed a partnership with Henry B. Major and together they found success printing and publishing fine art prints, maps, sheet music and much more. While the graphic arts collection does not hold the complete music sheets, we do have a collection of the lithographed covers to sheet music with Western American themes.

One is the Fort Harrison March, composed by Carl Heinrich Weber (1819-1892) and published by Balmer & Weber in St. Louis in 1848. The tinted lithograph with additional hand coloring depicts a scene from the 1812 battle of Fort Harrison. In preparation for an attach on Native Americans in Vigo County, Indiana, General William Henry Harrison ordered construction of a fort to protect the treaty line with Indian Territory. Later, when Indian forces attached Fort Harrison, Captain Zachary Taylor held them off until reinforcements arrived. History books list the battle of Fort Harrison as the first land victory of the United States during the War of 1812.

Also shown here is the lithographed cover for Death of Minnehaha composed by Charles Crozat Converse (1832-1918), with words from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “New Poem, Hiawatha” and published by Oliver Ditson & Company in Boston around 1856. The hand colored lithograph is by John Henry Bufford (1810-1870).

Thomas Bewick

At the close of the 18th century, printmaking was revolutionized by the English wood engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), and the German lithographer Aloys Senefelder (1771-1834). The processes developed by these men brought innovation in fine art printing and in commercial book illustration.

Copperplate engraving

copperplate engraving

Wood engraving

Bewick is remembered for his wood engraved masterworks A General History of Quadrupeds (1790), and History of British Birds Vol. I (1797), Vol. II (1804). However, his firm printed work in all media, including engraved wood, glass, silver, and traditional copperplate engraving.

Wood engraving

Wood engraving

Copperplate engraving

When Bewick died in 1828, his son Robert took over the business and published two further editions of the Birds in 1832 and 1847, and a large wood engraved Waiting for Death in 1832. After the death of the rest of the family, Julia Boyd compiled the volume seen here, documenting both copperplate and wood engravings in Bewick Gleanings: Being Impressions from Copperplates and Wood Blocks Engraved in the Bewick Workshop… (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Andrew Reid, 1886). Graphic Arts: Reference Collection (GARF) Oversize NE1212.B5 xB6q

Mexican News

Alfred Jones (1819-1900) after a painting by Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1855), Mexican News. Published by the American Art Union, 1851. Hand colored engraving. Gift of Leonard L. Milberg, Class of 1953. Graphic Arts division GA2008- in process

Between 1846 and 1847, the United States was at war with Mexico. Artists of the extremely influential American Art Union (AAU) created a number of prints, paintings, and maps showing the events and characters involved in the war to satisfy an engaged public.

One of the most successful was the oil painting by Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1955) entitled War News from Mexico, which shows a dapper-looking man reading the news aloud to a small crowd on the porch of the American Hotel. Painted in 1848 while Woodville was an art student in Düsseldorf, the canvas was exhibited at the AAU’s gallery in 1849 and reproduced in the AAU Bulletin, which circulated to its nearly 19,000 members.

George Austen, the AAU treasurer, purchased the painting and commissioned Alfred Jones (1819-1900) to create two color engravings of the scene—a large folio and the other a small print—which were published by the AAU in 1851. Princeton owns copies of both prints.

Note: This work is by the American artist Woodville who died at the age of 30, not to be confused with the British artist of the same name (1856-1927) who created many war and genre scenes for the Illustrated London News.

The Largest Book Published in Colonial America

Thieleman Janszoon van Braght (1625-1664), Der Blutige Schau-Platz [The Bloody Theater]: oder Martyrer-Spiegel der Tauffs Gesiñten oder Wehrlosen-Christen, Die um des Zeugnuss Jesu ihres Seligmachers willen gelitten haben, und seynd getödtet worden, von Christi Zeit an bis auf das Jahr 1660 (Ephrata in Pensylvanien: Drucks und Verlags der Brüderschafft, 1748-1749). 2 v. in 1. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize Hamilton 26q

Bound in leather over oak boards with brass corner pieces and clasps, Der Blutige Schau-Platz was three years in the making at the Ephrata Press in the Brotherhood’s monastery located in Northern Lancaster County. The Pennsylvania Mennonites commissioned the German translation and a paper mill was built especially for the single publication. Over 1500 folio pages were printed for each volume in an edition of 1300 copies, originally priced at 20 shillings. It is considered the largest book published in Colonial America.

“Fifteen Brethren were detailed, nine of whom had their work assigned in the printing department, namely, one corrector, who was at the same time the translator, four compositors and four pressmen; the rest had their work in the paper-mill. Three years were spent on this book, though not continuously, for there was often a want of paper.”

The text is a record of Mennonite, Anabaptist, and Pietist martyrs between 1524 and 1660. Written in Dutch by Tieleman Jansz van Braght (1625-1664), a Mennonite pastor, the book chronicles the lives of over 4,000 men and women who endured torture and death for their religious beliefs.

The frontispiece scene presents an army of martyrs marching to Heaven. Sinclair Hamilton noted that the engraving, probably made in Holland, “was removed from most copies because it offended the Mennonites.”

To read the text in English, see The Bloody Theatre, or Martyrs’ Mirror, of the Defenseless Christians (Near Lampeter Square, Lancaster Co., Pa.: David Miller, 1837). Annex A 5412.205. Or read it online at http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/contents.htm

Fonografik Korespondent

The Fonografik Korespondent … (Lundun: Fred Pitman, 1844-1858). Published monthly, edited by Sir Isaac Pitman (1813-1897). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2006-2922N

Books written in shorthand began to appear as early as the sixteenth century. But it was the eighteenth-century invention of lithography that provided the ideal medium for their printing, along with books of music and those written in some non-Latin scripts. More than any other individual, it was Sir Isaac Pitman (1813-1897) who was responsible for the writing and distribution of these lithographic books.

Pitman was a great proponent of alternative writing systems. His plan for phonic writing or phonography has dominated the shorthand world since 1830s, while his design for simplified spelling, which he called phonotype, never caught on — unless you count twenty-first-century texting. If Pitman had his way, we would have dropped the k, q, and x long ago.

He was a zealot for these writing systems and published dozens of books and journals promoting them, including the Fonographic Korrespondent seen here. Over the years, the journal was also called the Phonographic Correspondent, Fonografic Corispondunt, Fonografic Corispondent and Riportur, Fonografic Corespondent and Reporter, and many other variations.

The text was written by hand on transfer paper, which could be pressed onto a lithographic stone surface alleviating the need to write the text backwards. Some transfers were taken from letterpress type, border elements, and signatures, giving the title pages the look of letterpress books, although they were always printed lithographically.

For more information on fonography, see Michael Twyman, Early Lithographed Books: a study of the design in the and production of improper books in age of the hand press (London: Farrand Press & Private Libraries Association, 1990). Graphic Arts Collection (GA), NE2295 .T99

The Stonemasons Guild of Strasbourg

Johannes Striedbeck (1707-1772), Certificate from the Stonemasons Guild of Strasbourg. Engraving. 1771. Graphic Arts division GA 2008.00111

This view of Strasbourg, France, set within an elaborate border, includes the arms of the Upper and Lower Alsace. There was once a large wax seal at the bottom center, no longer attached. The inscription reads:

Wir Geschwohrne Ober- und andere Meister des Ehrs. Handwercks derer Steinmetzen, Steinhauser und Maurer in der Stadt Strassburg bescheinen hiermit, das gegenwartiger Gesell Nahmens Johann Samuel Imhoft … .

A guild is an organization of men and women in a particular occupation. Guilds were first formed in the Middle Ages and craftspeople would have been unable to work without being a member of the guild. Members were bound by a code of quality and price, but could also obtain assistance from the guild, such as funeral costs. Guilds oversaw a craftsman’s progress from apprentice to master, maintained the quality and ownership of the craft. A stonemason’s “lodge” was located at the job site and was the place where masons gathered, received instruction, and stored their tools.

Until the capture of the city by France in 1681, the headquarters of the German stonemasons was in Strasbourg (even as late as 1760 the Strasbourg lodge still claimed tribute from the lodges of Germany).

Manhattan 3

Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), Manhattan 3, stone 2, 1955 (L19). Lithograph. Graphic Arts division GAX 2008- in process

The American artist Lyonel Feininger made a name for himself in the early years of the twentieth century working in Germany alongside members of the Fauves and later the Blaue Reiter. In 1919, he joined Walter Gropius (1883-1969) serving as the first master of the Bauhaus printmaking workshop in Weimar.

Late in the 1930s, Feininger resettled in New York City and his imagery reflected his interest in the growth of that urban center. In 1940, he began a series of abstract oil paintings entitled Manhattan. Master lithographer George C. Miller (1894-1965) collaborated with Feininger to transfer the images to stone for a second series of Manhattan cityscapes on paper. The final view seen here, Manhattan 3, stone 2 was completed by the two men a year before Feininger’s death. This print is one of only eight early impressions left unsigned.

The Sword is Drawn!

Kenyon Cox (1856-1919), “The Sword is Drawn, the Navy Upholds It!”, published by the H.C. Miner Lithograph Company, New York, 1917. Graphic Arts division GC156 World War Posters Collection.

In 1914, when war broke out in Europe, the American painter Kenyon Cox joined the American Artists’ Committee of One Hundred, founded to help French artists and their families. Three years later, when the United States entered the war, Cox assisted President Wilson in the design of propaganda to help unify the country.

His most important work was a recruiting poster for the U.S. Navy, seen above. The finished painting was reproduced in an enormous lithograph, 42 x 26 inches. When a copy of the finished poster was sent to him by the Navy Publicity Bureau, he wrote, “It’s very well reproduced, on the whole, by lithography. They’ve weakened and prettified the head a little, but it was either that or caricaturing it into a plug-ugly, and perhaps it’s best as it is.”

Japanese Crests

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Takejirō Yoshino, 紋之泉 / Mon no izumi (Kyōto: Rakutō Shoin, 1934). Graphic Arts division GAX 2008- in process

In memory of Enid Mark 1932-2008

Artist, editor, and publisher Enid Mark passed away this week. She will be missed.

The Bewildering Thread, poems selected by Ruth Mortimer and Sarah Black, lithographs by Enid Mark (Wallingford: Elm Press, 1986). Graphic Arts division GAX Oversize NE539.M37B48 1986Q.

The Elm Press, founded by Mark in 1986, is devoted to publishing fine press artists’ books. Most featured Mark’s delicate lithographs although she was an adventurous bookmaker who explored many printing techniques and technologies. She had a special affinity to the relationship between word and image, and knew how to complement a poem rather than just illustrate it.

Enid Mark, An Afternoon at Les Collettes (Wallingford: Elm Press, 1988) Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize NE539.M37 A77 1988q

She wrote, “I imagine the book as a continuous picture plane on which word, image, sequence and structure all reinforce each other. What interests me most is the relationship between word and image. I plan no hierarchy of them. An artist’s book is a unique form of visual disclosure. It must be slowly savored. It should be held in the hand and carefully considered. Only then are its contents fully revealed.”

Grace from Simple Stone, poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) and lithographs by Enid Mark (Wallingford: Elm Press, 1992). Graphic Arts division GAX Oversize NE539.M37M54 1992Q.

For more information, see: http://www.theelmpress.com/index.html

In memory of Hayden Carruth 1921-2008

Anything ends
In its beginning,
The circles turning
Slowly, so slowly,
Quern of the beat
Of the downrunning heart.
The sunlight fell like diamonds
But did not slacken
Remembrance’s forewarning
Of cold and dark to come,
The journey retaken
Without end,
Without end.
—from IV. “Ignis” in Journey to a Known Place (1961) Graphic Arts division GAX Z232.M54C37 1961. Gift of Daniel and Mary Jane Woodward.

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