Lustige Geschichten, or “Der Struwwelpeter”

A classic among children’s books, who hasn’t heard of or seen images of “Struwwelpeter” (or “Shockheaded Peter” as he’s called in English)? Peter refuses to wash, comb his hair or cut his nails and is therefore not the most popular of boys, the moral being of course that if you look after yourself, people will like you. Continue reading

While I’m away… here’s a pretty binding.

Nineteenth-century binding with interesting leaf pattern

Short post again this time, I’m afraid! While I take a little holiday, I’ll leave you with a nice early nineteenth-century binding from Calke Abbey. The contents of the book are certainly not as interesting as the outside…

The binding is of a smooth calf leather to which, rather unusually, the binder has added some leaves during the mottling process to produce these delicate outlines.

Can anyone help me identify what plants these leaves may have come from?

 

Bookplates (4): Nathaniel Curzon 1st Baron Scarsdale

nc-bookplateThis week’s post about bookplates owes much to the research James Fishwick undertook when he was cataloguing the main library at Kedleston for the National Trust a few years ago. My own interest developed out of research into Kedleston’s library in its wider architectural context, as part of my MSc dissertation. Continue reading

Unusual workspaces 3: Sudbury

Temporary workspace at SudburyAs mentioned a few weeks ago, I started a project to catalogue children’s books at Sudbury’s Museum of Childhood. It’s been great fun so far and I’ll be showing some of the lovely books I found over the coming months. If you can’t wait, I’ve already uploaded some pictures on Facebook. The view from what was my workspace initially wasn’t brilliant, but I’ve since moved to a better (and more comfortable) location. 😉 Continue reading

At the sea side (Erddig)

 

Working at Sudbury’s Museum of Childhood has reminded me of other children’s literature I’ve come across over the years. One of the great features of country house libraries is the presence of books aimed at children that have survived the vigorous reading practices of the very young (not quite like the model child on the left, in other words). Continue reading

James Stephens’ Theme and Variations at Mount Stewart

Bird's eye view of Lady Londonderry's sitting room

Bird’s eye view of Lady Londonderry’s Sitting Room at Mount Stewart looking north. This room is part of a private suite which also included a Breakfast Room and Lord Londonderry’s sitting room.

 

 

A couple of months ago, I posted some images of a proof copy I found at Erddig. Recently at Mount Stewart (Northern Ireland), I found another one. This time, it was a gift from the poet and novelist James Stephens (1880-1950) to Edith, 7th Marchioness of Londonderry (1878-1959), whose collection I’d started to catalogue.

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Bookplates (3): William A. H. Bass, Bart. (1879-1952)

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In provenance research – the study of evidence of previous ownership of items – bookplates and other ex-libri can be a great resource. Taking into account that these plates could sometimes be recycled or added considerable time after a book had entered a collection, the identification of the individuals behind the bookplates can nevertheless be really rewarding. This is especially the case when plates turn up unexpectedly in unrelated collections or when we know for certain that the owner’s collection was dispersed. Continue reading

Tips for tricyclists (Erddig)

Front cover of Tips for tricyclists by Professor Hoffmann

Front cover of Professor Hoffmann’s Tips for tricyclists. In publisher’s pictorial paper boards.

 

With summer (kind of) upon us and the Tour de France starting in about a fortnight, this week’s post features a wonderful little book from Erddig.

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Bookplates (2): Charles Pinfold (1709-1788) and Calke Abbey Library

In provenance research – the study of evidence of previous ownership of items – bookplates and other ex-libri can be a great resource. Taking into account that these plates could sometimes be recycled or added considerable time after a book had entered a collection, the identification of the individuals behind the bookplates can nevertheless be really rewarding. This is especially the case when plates turn up unexpectedly in unrelated collections or when we know for certain that the owner’s collection was dispersed.

This week, the bookplate of Charles Pinfold, a governor of Barbados in the mid-eighteenth century, which I found in an edition of Suetonius’ works printed in Leeuwarden (Netherlands) in 1714-15. The two volumes were at Calke Abbey by the nineteenth-century, when a small die-sinker style shield bookplate was pasted underneath Pinfold’s armorial plate.

Title page of Suetonius' works (1714-15)

Title page of the 2-vol. works of Suetonius, printed in Leeuwarden (Friesland, The Netherlands). This image is from the copy held at Universidad Complutense de Madrid via Hathi Trust Digital Library.


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