Philadelphia and New York: various publishers, 1808-1828. A collection of 12 chapbooks in original boards or wrappers. Original Rosenbach slipcase somewhat worn but perfectly sound (spine title: "American Children's Books 1808-1828"), now superfluous as all 12 chapbooks are have been preserved individually in mylar sleeves. Very good. Item #4007
A collection of 12 early American chapbooks formed by Abraham Simon Wolf Rosenbach (1876-1952), at that time the leading antiquarian bookseller in America. In addition to his vast holdings and expertise in early Americana, early English literature, and American Judaica, he also became the pioneering collector and purveyor of early American children's books, the latter formed primarily by the stock he acquired from the estate of his uncle Moses Polok (following the Polok sale in March 9 and 10, 1904 -- see Wolf and Fleming, Rosenbach, p. 51). Rosenbach's 1933 bibliography remains indispensible for the study of these ephemeral pieces.
CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION:
(NB: J&W = Philadelphia: Johnson & Warner; J = Philadelphia: Johnson)
¶ 1. [TOWN CRIERS / ALEXANDER ANDERSON] - "The Uncle's Present: A New Battledoor," (J, n.d. [ca. 1810]). Rosenbach 428. Original self wrappers of thick card with fore-edge flap forming an "envelope." Total of 6 panels, all with attractive illustrations of Town Criers, showing 24 letters of the alphabet ("J" and "U" omitted), in upper- and lower-case. The wood engraving of the horse is (almost invisibly) signed "A" (i.e. the venerable Alexander Anderson).
¶ 2. [ALEXANDER ANDERSON] - "The New-York Preceptor; or, Third Book" (New York: Samuel S. Wood & Sons, n.d. [ca. 1823]). Original printed boards (portion of blank margin of p. 3/4 torn away affecting a few letters, final blank leaf with small stains, but a crisp copy). Shoemaker 13569.
¶ 3. ["BE KIND TO THE POOR BLACK BOY"]. "A Picture Book, for Little Children" (Philadelphia: Kimber and Conrad, n.d. [ca. 1812]). Original cream colored stiff wrappers, textblock a little browned. Noted here apparently for the first time is the fact that the woodcut on fol. 6v was adapted from "The Wonderful Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe" (specifically where Crusoe saves Friday from the cannibals) and was here used as an Abolitionist message for children. Rosenbach 466.
¶ 4. [RUDELY PRINTED] - "The Daisy" (J, 1808). Original salmon colored paper wrappers. Much of the text is printed out-of-order; some of the metal engravings are printed upside down, and on the wrong leaves! See Welch no. 1355.2 for a detailed collation note. Welch concludes that "This publisher's remainder is such a printer's botch it is doubtful that Jacob Johnson ever allowed these books to be put on sale." Rosenbach 382.
¶ 5. "The American Primer; or, An Easy Introduction to Spelling & Reading" (Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1813). Original printed wrappers. With an oval woodcut on front wrapper and every text page save p. 2. Rosenbach 468.
¶ 6. "The Blackbird's Nest" (J&W, 1812). Original printed boards. Remarkably crisp copy. Rosenbach 452.
¶ 7. "Village Annals" (J&W, 1814). Contemporary marbled boards, paper stock a little wrinkled. Rosenbach 514.
¶ 8. "M'Carty's American Primer" (Philadelphia: M'Carty & Davis, 1828). Original printed boards. Crisp copy. Rosenbach 714.
¶ 9. ----- Another copy (spine a trifle worn).
¶ 10. [Catherine Ann Turner Dorset]. "Think Before You Speak; or, The Three Wishes: a Tale" (J&W, 1811 [on title: "1810"]). Original printed boards (front cover detached as is almost always the case, with loss of the inside edge along sewing thread). Complete with 6 plates including frontis. (mostly browned as commonly). Rosenbach 437.
¶ 11. "Die Gefahr in den Strassen; Nebst Einigen Andern Erzahlungen" (J&W, 1810). Original salmon colored paper wrappers. Translation of "Dangers of the Street" (1808). Engraved vignette on title page by Alexander Anderson. Rosenbach 418. Bötte, First century of German language printing in the United States of America, 1770.
¶ 12. [Hannah More]. "The Search After Happiness" (J&W, 1811). Contemporary sparkled wrappers over boards (front cover starting). Frontispiece by Tanner after Stothard (browned). Rosenbach 442.
The present collection formed part of a group lot of Rosenbach materials that was sold at Swann Galleries (4/7/22 lot 49) which included three other items not present here. While our group is definitely from Rosenbach, we note a group of 18 chapbooks (ex-John Fleming) that was sold at Leslie Hindman in 2021, wistfully -- but not positively -- described as "likely Rosenbach remainders."