The Great American Cock

In a letter dated March 2, 1831, J.J. Audubon (1785-1851) wrote to his engraver Robert Havell Jr., (1793-1878) requesting changes in the copper printing plates already completed at the Scottish engraving studio of W.H. Lizars (1788-1859). “I wish you to set about having the Plates reengraved I mean the Lettering as soon as possible and to employ such Engravers as well do Justice to the whole of it.”

The engraved title Great American Cock, usually plate no. 1 in the bound volumes of Audubon’s Birds of America, was to be removed and replaced by Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). In addition, he asked for changes in the legends of the first forty-four plates.

There is no explanation for the change in the name. Cock is the standard British term for a male bird, “especially domestic fowl.” However, Audubon’s legend is not part of the Linnaean taxonomy of birds but instead an enthusiastic description for his favorite bird. This may have been his attempt to improve the scientific precision of the work as a whole.

In the early 1800s when the Audubon family lived in Mill Grove, Pennsylvania, the house was filled with animals, both preserved specimens and live family pets. Most prized with a wild turkey, referred to in Audubon letters as “my favorite turkey cock.”

“Lucy [Audubon] become accustomed to, and even contented with, the strange ways of John James, who brought home a number of wild creatures from his excursions into the woods. She helped raise and care for the wild turkey that John James captured when it was only a few days old. The bird rapidly became a great pet to the Audubon children and the entire village. Anxious to protect the turkey from hunters, Lucy tied a red string around his neck so that he would be recognized while wandering about town. Each evening the gobbler could be seen roosting on the roof of the Audubon cabin.”– Carolyn E. DeLatte, Lucy Audubon: A Biography (LSU Press, Sep 1, 2008).

There is no way of knowing how many plates were produced with the title Great American Cock as Lizars began engraving them in 1826 before Havell reengraved the plate according to Audubon’s demand in 1831. The copper printing plate for the Wild Turkey was purchased from Lucy Audubon by William E. Dodge Jr. (1832-1903) and kept in the Dodge family, first with his sister Grace H. Dodge (1856-1914) and then her nephew Cleveland E. Dodge (1888-1982), Princeton class of 1909, who lent it to the Princeton University Library exhibition in 1959. Dodge served as a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History, among other organizations, and ultimately donated the copper plate to AMNH for their Audubon room. Unfortunately, the engraved title at the bottom of the plate has been removed.

 

François Bonneville’s Portraits of Revolutionaries


“…In addition to the editors, François Bonneville (Nicolas’ cousin) was hired to engrave portraits of revolutionaries for the “Chronique du mois.” Each issue featured on its frontispiece one of Bonneville’s portraits, usually depicting a leading Girondin. The first seven issues included portraits of Condorcet (January), Fauchet (February), Mercier (March), Auger (April), Garran-Coulon (May), Paine (June), and Brissot (July).

François Bonneville became one of the best known portrait engravers of his day, and his works were sold individually at the Imrprimerie du Cercle Social. At the same time, his engravings helped to spread the fame of the Griondin leaders, whom he often portrayed in a neoclassical style that emphasized their likeness to the ancient heroes of Greek democracy.” –Gary Kates, The Cercle Social, the Girondins, and the French Revolution (Princeton University Press, 1985, jstor: 2014)

La Chronique du mois: ou, les cahiers patriotiques, [The Chronicle of the Month] was founded by Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet (marquis de), Étienne Clavière, Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat marquis de Condorcet, Louis-Sébastien Mercier, Nicolas de Bonneville, abbé Athanase Auger, and John Oswald. They called their imprint the Printing Press of the Social Circle. Working together with these men from his studio on Rue Saint-Jacques, François Bonneville designed, engraved, and published the portraits with each man wearing his official uniform, including a hat with enormous plumes and a velvet coat.

The Graphic Arts Collection has only two of the portraits, seen here. To appreciate the entire grand costume, see Bonneville’s full figure image from the Musée Carnavalet: http://parismuseescollections.paris.fr/fr/musee-carnavalet/oeuvres/sieyes-membre-du-directoire-executif-en-grand-costume

François Bonneville (active 1793-1802), Merlin, membre du Directoire exécutif, 1797. Etching, pointillé, Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

François Bonneville (active 1793-1802), Em[m]anuel Joseph Sieyes, membre du Directoire Exécutif. Né à Fréjus le 3 may 1748, 1797. Etching, pointillé, Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

Read more M.E.T. Hamy, “Note sur diverses gravures de Bonneville, répresentant des Nègres (1794-1803) in Anthropologie (1900): 42-46.

The Faculty of the Early Sixties

111 years ago, the June 6 Daily Princetonian Extra reported that a bronze plaque was commissioned by Princeton University students in honor of the 12 men who had been their professors:

Among the events of especial interest during Commencement week, two ceremonies took place today which marked an addition to the memorials of Princeton classes. At twelve o’clock the Class of ’63, which celebrates its forty-fifth anniversary this year, unveiled in Marquand Chapel a bronze tablet inscribed “To the Faculty of the Early Sixties.” This event was followed at 2 p. m. by the breaking of ground for the new ’77 Dormitory. The Class of ’77 will give the dormitory at a total cost of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and the exercises to-day marked the commencement of what will be one of the most costly buildings of its kind on the campus.


The Faculty of the Early Sixties. John Maclean (President and Chemistry, portrait at the top); Joseph Henry (Natural Philosophy); Stephen Alexander (Astronomy); Matthew B. Hope (Belles-Lettres); James C. Moffat (Greek and History); Lyman H. Atwater (Philosophy); Arnold Guyot (Geology); George Musgrave Giger (Latin); John T. Duffield (Mathematics); J. Stillwell Schanck (Zoology); Joshua H. McIlvaine (English Language and Literature); Henry C. Cameron (Greek). In grateful remembrance of the characters, the lives, and the teaching of those whose names are hereon inscribed this tablet is erected by their former students surviving members of the class of 1865 -June 6, 1908.

 

Marquand Chapel was destroyed by fire during house party weekend in 1920 and for several years, worship services were held in Alexander Hall. The bronze tablet hung in various other locations until now, when it has been permanently sited in Firestone’s new Emeritus Faculty Reading Room.


In 2016 eighteen faculty members were transferred to emeritus; in 2017 nineteen faculty became emeritus; in 2018 fifteen transferred to emeritus… It’s surprising the room is still empty.

Just Kids

Printing plates photoshopped and laterally reversed for easier reading.

 

Over eighty years before Patti Smith’s Just Kids hit the bookstores, Ad Carter (1895-1957) and his distribution firm King Features Syndicate were publishing the daily comic strip Just Kids in papers across the United States. From 1922 to 1947, Just Kids entertained the American public weekday mornings in black and white, and every Sunday in color.

These metal plates had to be snail-mailed from one city to the next for printing, so on any given day a different strip would appear in Baltimore papers from the one in Philadelphia papers. William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), who owned the King Features syndicate, took a particular liking to Carter’s work and also published his strip Nicodemus O’Malley in Hearst papers.

The Just Kids Safety Club was formed in the spring of 1928 to promote safety for school age children walking to and from school. In exchange for a pledge to “always look up and down before crossing the street,” children received a membership button featuring one of the characters from the strip.

Comics historian Don Markstein described the Just Kids gang:

Mush Stebbins continued as part of an ensemble cast… Other regulars included Mush’s pals, Fatso Dolan and Pat Chan, the latter adding a touch of racial diversity back before diversity was cool. The group functioned as a kid gang operating in and around a small town called Barnsville, sort of like the later Archie and his pals, but younger, did in Riverdale… His specific source of inspiration was Reg’lar Fellers, by Gene Byrnes, of which Just Kids was a blatant copy. This was part of the same trend as Tillie Jones’s similarity to Winnie Winkle and Annie Rooney’s to that other Annie.

Thanks to the generous donation of Charles Rose, Class of 1950, P77, P80, the Graphic Arts Collection owns 1,429 zinc and aluminum printing plates for Just Kids and other comic strips syndicated to American newspapers from the 1920s to the 1950s. The plates originated with Abraham Meyers, whose American Melody Company or Meyers List (newspapers knew the firm as International Cartoons or Empire Features) was founded in 1898. For more on the gift, see: https://www.princeton.edu/~graphicarts/2012/06/cartoon_printing_plates.html

Particular thanks also to the many staff members who have moved these very heavy plates from one location to another over the last ten years of renovation.

Mush’s sister is hanging laundry on a clothesline and he says, “Gee Wendy, I wasn’t as lucky as you when it comes to matching up your stockings.”

 

See also:
The Adventures of Just Kids (1934).
Just Kids and Deep-Sea Dan (1940)

Print Archaeology

A number of people helped today to match a set of unmarked prints to a published book. The prints are some of the many sheets that have been sitting in the department for many years unidentified and uncatalogued. Stop here if you want to try it yourself before reading the answer below.

Success came first to Nicola Shilliam, Marquand Library’s Western Bibliographer, who was able to match the recognizable scenes of Jerusalem with the correct edition and illustrator.

Torquato Tasso (1544-1595), La Gerusalemme liberata di Torquato Tasso; con le annotationi di Scipion Gentili e di Giulio Guastauini: et li argomenti di Oratio Ariosti [=The Liberated Jerusalem of Torquato Tasso; with annotations by Scipion Gentili and Giulio Guastauini: and the topics of Oratio Ariosti] (Genoa: Giuseppe Pavoni ad instanza di Bernardo Castello, 1617). Full page engraved plates facing the opening of each of the 20 cantos, engraved by Camillo Cungi (ca. 1597–1649) after designs by Bernardo Castello (1557–1629). EXOV 3137.34.197

 

We all felt foolish. Gerusalemme Liberata of Torquato Tasso, published in 1581, is considered one of Italy’s great contribution to epic poetry and should be easily recognized. Three illustrated editions were prepared by the Italian painter Bernardo Castello, the largest and most successful this 3rd edition in 1617.

The sheets discovered in the Graphic Arts Collection, while in poor condition, may have been early proofs as the engraver Camillo Cungi worked to reproduce Castello’s drawings. On the other hand, they may have been prepared for a pirated edition. Below is one example of the proof and the published engraving.

 

Close up of proof copy
Close up of the final published engraving, note the artist’s initials in the bottom left. B.C.I. stands for Bernardo Castello invenit (designer)

Here is an open library edition, if you want to see or read the whole book: https://openlibrary.org/books/OL25624814M/La_Gerusalemme_di_Torquato_Tasso

Here is a lecture on the various illustrated edition of Gerusalemme Liberata.

 

Finally, here are several more of the proofs in the Graphic Arts Collection, so you can compare them to the published book.

Complete Index to Pynson Printers Jobs

The Graphic Arts reference collection holds four enormous volumes documenting jobs produced by Elmer Adler’s Pynson Printers from 1922 to 1940 when the press was closed. An index to these volumes has been created by Sherry X. Zhang and Jena Mayer with help from Brianna R. Cregle and AnnaLee Pauls, which is key word searchable allowing researchers, for the first time, to study Adler’s commercial work. PDFs are attached here and to the voyager record for these scrapbooks. https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/7343684 Pynson Printers jobs. Graphic Arts: Reference Collection Oversize Z232.P99 A9f
Volume one:Copy of PynsonPrinters_Volume 1
Volume two:Copy of PynsonPrinters_vol.2
Volume three:Copy of PynsonPrinters_vol.3
Volume four:Copy of PynsonPrinters_vol.4 (1) (1)
Extras: Copy of PynsonPrinters_Presses
“From the twentieth of March, 1922, the Pynson Printers are at your service for the planning and production of all printing in which quality is the first consideration. We have founded our organization on the belief that the printer should be primarily an artist—a designer and a creator rather than a mere manufacturer. Toward this end, we have assembled a group whose several abilities and varied experience cover every phase of the art and business of printing. . . . We will do no work in which quality must be sacrificed to exigencies of time or cost” (Reprinted in Lawrance Thompson “Forty Mercer Street,” Princeton University Library Chronicle 2, no. 1 (November 1940): 32).

Together with designers Walter Dorwin Teague (1883-1960), Hubert L. Canfield, and David Silvé, Adler opened a small, fine press printing shop at 122 East 32nd Street named Pynson Printers, after the sixteenth-century printer Richard Pynson.

Within six months, the others had moved on, leaving Adler the sole owner of the firm (see: John F. Peckham “Forty Mercer,” Princeton Alumni Weekly 41, no. 12 (December 16, 1940): 8). As stated in the opening announcement, concerns with quality rather than commercial practicality led production. To that end, he sought out artisans, publishers, and clients who shared his love of typography and fine printing.

The Pynson Printers office moved to the New York Times building at 239 West 43rd Street, elegantly decorated by Lucien Bernhard. In a 1925 letter to Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), with whom he was already in business, Adler wrote, “Since you were last here Mr. [Lucien] Bernhard has arranged to build a studio adjoining our shop which will help create more of the kind of thing we want to have….” (Adler to Kent, February 13, 1925. CO262, box 32, Adler papers). These three men, Adler, Kent, and the recently emigrated German designer Lucien Bernhard (1883-1972), began working together on a variety of printing and design projects.

Their first fine press book, Candide, began in 1925 when 27-year-old Bennett Cerf and his 23-year-old friend Donald Klopfer decided they wanted a business of their own. Cerf was vice-president at the publishing house of Boni & Liveright and interested in the firm’s catalog of 109 titles published under the Modern Library imprint. Klopfer and Cerf raised $215,000 to purchase the imprint and then, set about to redefine the Modern Library to make it distinctly their own.

“We went to a man I had heard was a great typographer named Elmer Adler, who headed the Pynson Printers,” said Cerf. “He was so good that he was allowed to have his office in the New York Times building . . . Elmer Adler was an elegant gentleman whose family headed the Adler Rochester clothing company. It was beautiful, beautiful work that he turned out at only about eight times what it should have cost . . . Elmer helped us redesign modern library [and] helped us find the man to design the flying girl with the torch. . . So the modern library had a new dress that was very stylish,” (Bennett Cerf oral history, p. 144. Columbia University Libraries).

“We were talking about doing a few books on the side,” recalled Cerf, “when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, ‘We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random. Let’s call it Random House.’” Kent was so taken with the idea he offered to draw them a trademark on the spot and five minutes later handed Cerf the Random House symbol, which has been on their colophon ever since.

Candide was a success but Adler’s partnership with Random House was short-lived. “Elmer didn’t cotton to trade publishing . . . He was a very difficult partner anyway—very querulous and dictatorial, and he wanted to do everything his way, and when we wanted to have other printers do books, Elmer was very jealous.”

Cerf and Klopfer bought out his share, even though he never put up any money to join them. Adler continued to do business with Random House and Cerf remained a stockholder in the Pynson Printers. Kent did business with them both and joined Bernhard in founding a design firm they named Contempora.

Adler closed the Pynson Printers in 1940, when he was invited to move to Princeton, New Jersey, and established a department of Graphic Arts for Princeton University. He brought with him a personal collection—fourteen tons of books, prints, paintings, records, and equipment—which became the basis for the graphic arts collection we enjoy today. Although he donated some records of the Pynson Press to the NYPL in 1936, he retained a large amount of material with which to teach, including papers, proofs, and plates, which he sold to the Princeton University Library in 1948 for one dollar.

See also: https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2014/03/21/exhibition-chronology-of-the-little-gallery-of-the-pynson-printers/

Voyages de Gulliver 1797

In 1797, Pierre Didot (1761-1753), the most esteemed printer of his day, commissioned a series of illustrations for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, from the French artist Louis-Joseph Lefèvre (1756-1830).  Abbé Pierre François Guyot Desfontaines’ French translation was used and the designs engraved by Louis-Joseph Masquelier (1741-1811).

Didot’s brother, Firmin Didot cut the type and the book was bound by René Simier, Relieur du Roi, in four small volumes, each representing one of Gulliver’s trips. The book was printed in two issues, one for Didot himself and the one acquired by Princeton for Pierre-François Bleuet jeune, in an edition of 100.

Although there is no English language edition recorded from Didot’s press with the Lefèvre illustrations, one might have been planned since several sheets of proofs with the captions in English have been found in the Graphic Arts Collection. Note special trouble was taken to add the date, 1797, at the center of each caption.

These should not be confused with the 1797 English language edition published by Charles Cooke, which has very different plates by W. Hawkins (active 1797-1803) after Richard Corbould (1757-1831) [seen at the far bottom].

 

 

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Voyage de Gulliver [translated by Pierre-François Guyot Desfontaines] (Paris: De la I’mprimerie de P. Didot L’Ainé, 1797). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process. English language proof on the right.

 

Charles Cooke edition with plates by W. Hawkins (active 1797-1803) after Richard Corbould (1757-1831).

Engelmann’s lithographic designs for the Bible

Godefroy Engelmann (1788-1839), 50 dessins représentant les principaux traits de la Bible (Mulhouse & Paris: de la Lithographie de G. Engelmann, ca. 1824). Graphic Arts Collection.    GAX 2019- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the first and only edition of this rare set of biblical illustrations by one the pioneers of French lithography, Godefroy Engelmann (1788-1839), with 50 plates depicting scenes from the Old and New Testament. The lithographs were, according to the tile page, initially offered in five collections of ten; the 1824 issue of the Journal général de la littérature de France suggests that they “peuvent server à orner toutes les éditions in-8. De l’ancien et du nouveau Testament,” although it is not clear if they were ever put to this use.

These prints are some of Engelmann’s earlier works. Having trained both in Switzerland at both La Rochelle and Bordeaux, he began to study lithography in Munich in 1814, returning the following year to his home city of Mulhouse, where he founded La Société Lithotypique de Mulhouse, followed by a workshop in Paris the following year. Among his contributions to lithographic technique was the development in 1819 of lithographic wash, followed by his pioneering work in chromolithography as details in his 1837 Album chromo-lithographique, ou recueil d’essais du nouveau procédé d’impression lithographique en couleurs, inventé par Engelmann père et fils à Mulhouse.

[10 places to visit today in Mulhouse, including the Musée de l’Impression sur Etoffes de Mulhouse: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/france/articles/the-top-10-things-to-do-and-see-in-mulhouse/]

See also Engelmann company scrapbooks digitized at Princeton: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/3484zk471

La Galatea poema lirico, ca. 1625

Attributed to Girolamo Priuli (1476-1547), La Galatea: Poema Lirico con l’Allegorie dell’Academico Veneto Sconosciuto ([Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified], 1620? Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2910- in process

An unexpected treasure came this week in an unusual first edition of La Galatea. Poema lirico con l’allegorie dell’accademico Veneto sconosciuto cavalleresco (pseudonym of the Venetian poet Girolamo Priuli), variously dated 1620 to 1625. An unidentified artist created sixteen engravings illustrating the poetic epic of Acis and Galatea. Strangely, the first six plates are all of the same scene with Galatea in the water, looking left, looking right, in the rain, in the sunshine, etc. Readers must look twice to realize they have subtle differences.

 


http://ovid.lib.virginia.edu/trans/Metamorph13.htm

Once while Galatea let Scylla comb her hair, she addressed these words to her, sighing often: ‘At least, O virgin Scylla, you are not wooed by a relentless breed of men: and you can reject them without fear, as you do. But I, whose father is Nereus, and whose mother is sea-green Doris, I, though protected by a crowd of sisters, was not allowed to flee the love of Polyphemus, the Cyclops, except through sorrow’, and tears stopped the sound of her voice. When the girl had wiped away the tears with her white fingers, and the goddess was comforted, she said: ‘Tell me, O dearest one: do not hide the cause of your sadness (I can be so trusted)’ The Nereid answered Crateis’s daughter in these words: ‘Acis was the son of Faunus and the nymph Symaethis, a great delight to his father and mother, but more so even to me, since he and I alone were united. He was handsome, and having marked his sixteenth birthday, a faint down covered his tender cheeks. I sought him, the Cyclops sought me, endlessly. If you asked, I could not say which was stronger in me, hatred of Cyclops, or love of Acis, both of them were equally strong.

Oh! Gentle Venus, how powerful your rule is over us! How that ruthless creature, terrifying even to the woods themselves, whom no stranger has ever seen with impunity, who scorns mighty Olympus and its gods, how he feels what love is, and, on fire, captured by powerful desire, forgets his flocks and caves. Now Polyphemus, you care for your appearance, and are anxious to please, now you comb your bristling hair with a rake, and are pleased to cut your shaggy beard with a reaping hook, and to gaze at your savage face in the water and compose its expression. Your love of killing, your fierceness, and your huge thirst for blood, end, and the ships come and go in safety.

The title page is especially appealing with its architectural frame [recycled?] topped with the word Resistit (Withstands). The allegorical figures have been described elsewhere as “the Temperance that resists Love, Apollo with the nine Muses; below the Aurora brand; adorned with little heads, large initials and xylographed endings.”

Practical Illustration of the Fugitive Slave Law

E.C. [Sometimes attributed to Edward Williams Clay], Practical Illustration of the Fugitive Slave Law, [1851]. Lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was designed to make it easier for owners of enslaved men and women to recapture those persons who escaped to the North. It affirmed that “fugitive slaves” were the owner’s property and could be redeemed anywhere in the free states. This satirical print, produced in Boston around 1850-51, illustrates the antagonism between Northern abolitionists on the left and supporters of the Fugitive Slave Act, including Daniel Webster (1782-1852) on the right.

Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) holds a formerly enslaved woman in one arm and points a pistol toward a burly “slave catcher” on the back of Webster. The slave catcher represents the federal marshals or commissioners authorized by the act to apprehend and return escaped persons to their so-called owners.

Fugitive Slave Act 1850: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/fugitive.asp

Section 6: And be it further enacted, That when a person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the United States, has heretofore or shall hereafter escape into another State or Territory of the United States, the person or persons to whom such service or labor may be due, or his, her, or their agent or attorney, duly authorized, by power of attorney, in writing, acknowledged and certified under the seal of some legal officer or court of the State or Territory in which the same may be executed, may pursue and reclaim such fugitive person, either by procuring a warrant from some one of the courts, judges, or commissioners aforesaid, of the proper circuit, district, or county, for the apprehension of such fugitive from service or labor, or by seizing and arresting such fugitive, where the same can be done without process, and by taking, or causing such person to be taken, forthwith before such court, judge, or commissioner, whose duty it shall be to hear and determine the case of such claimant in a summary manner; and upon satisfactory proof being made, by deposition or affidavit, in writing, to be taken and certified by such court, judge, or commissioner, or by other satisfactory testimony, duly taken and certified by some court, magistrate, justice of the peace, or other legal officer authorized to administer an oath and take depositions under the laws of the State or Territory from which such person owing service or labor may have escaped, with a certificate of such magistracy or other authority, as aforesaid, with the seal of the proper court or officer thereto attached, which seal shall be sufficient to establish the competency of the proof, and with proof, also by affidavit, of the identity of the person whose service or labor is claimed to be due as aforesaid, that the person so arrested does in fact owe service or labor to the person or persons claiming him or her, in the State or Territory from which such fugitive may have escaped as aforesaid, and that said person escaped, to make out and deliver to such claimant, his or her agent or attorney, a certificate setting forth the substantial facts as to the service or labor due from such fugitive to the claimant, and of his or her escape from the State or Territory in which he or she was arrested, with authority to such claimant, or his or her agent or attorney, to use such reasonable force and restraint as may be necessary, under the circumstances of the case, to take and remove such fugitive person back to the State or Territory whence he or she may have escaped as aforesaid. In no trial or hearing under this act shall the testimony of such alleged fugitive be admitted in evidence; and the certificates in this and the first [fourth] section mentioned, shall be conclusive of the right of the person or persons in whose favor granted, to remove such fugitive to the State or Territory from which he escaped, and shall prevent all molestation of such person or persons by any process issued by any court, judge, magistrate, or other person whomsoever.