Category Archives: Illustrated books

illustrated books

Still 1¢, now searchable online

Rita Corbin

Brother Mickey McGrath

Founded in 1933 by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, The Catholic Worker movement began in New York City and has grown into an international faith-based, grassroots movement for peace and social justice through nonviolent direct action. The Catholic Worker newspaper documents the voices, events, and values that shaped the movement across the decades. Thanks to the Catholic Research Resources Alliance and Marquette University, all but the first ten years of the newspaper are now digitized and available online for all. Current issues on paper are still available for only one penny.

The graphic artists in this month’s issue include Michelle Dick from the Island of Kaua’i, Hawaii; Brother Mickey McGrath from Camden, NJ; Meg Crocker Birmingham (1951-2011), and Rita Corbin (1930-2011).
Michelle Dick

“A major collection of archival materials relating to Day and to the Catholic Worker movement is held by Raynor Memorial Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives. The collection now comprises more than 200 cubic feet, including the personal papers of Day, Maurin, and others involved in the movement; records of past and present Catholic Worker communities; photographs; audio and video recordings of interviews, talks, television programs, and peace demonstrations; and a wide variety of publications.”

Visit the digital archive to explore issues of The Catholic Worker. Find out about the Dorothy Day/Catholic Worker collection at Marquette. Thanks very much to Raynor Memorial Libraries, 1355 W. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53233

Rita Corbin

Rita Corbin

Michelle Dick

You might enjoy watching:

Love Among the Games



L’Amour parmi les jeux, le Souvenir du bon temps, Dédié aux Belles [=Love Among the Games, the Memory of the Good Times, Dedicated to the Beautiful] (Paris: Boulanger, [1785]) with paintings by François Marie Isidore Queverdo (1748-1797). Provenance: bookplate of Robert de Beauvillain.  Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.

The complete description that came with the volume: “24mo (binding size 98 x 57 mm). Entirely engraved. 44 leaves = 22 bifolia, a “nested” construction, irregularly paginated: engraved title, Remarques pour la présente année 1785on verso, conjugate with advertisement leaf at end, 6-leaf engraved calendar for 1785 enclosing central quire, paginated 3-62, containing: 12 leaves engraved text, each text leaf alternating with one of 12 full-page engraved “plates” (printed on 6 conjugate bifolia), the printed sides included in the pagination; at center a separate quire of tables of gains and losses, with separate imprint, but included in the pagination (pp. 21-44).”


The Graphic Arts Collection has a new, quietly erotic almanac in an embroidered binding set with painted miniatures by or after François Marie Isidore Queverdo (1748-1797). The interior engravings are described elsewhere as by Jean Dambrun (1741-1808) after Queverdo. If you look closely, each print displays various amorous encounters while the poetry describes seduction involving both men and women, husbands and wives, humans and angels.


The games mentioned in the title are both actual sports: in January there is bowling, in February is hide and seek, and so on. But they are also the adult games played by men and women throughout the year.


Benezit lists Queverdo as born 2 February 1748, in Josselin (Morbihan) and died 24 December 1797, in Paris. “The father of Louis Marie Yves Queverdo, François Queverdo appears on the register of pupils of the Académie Royale as being the protégé of the duchess of Rohan-Chabot and living in her house. He was a pupil of Pierre and Longueil. He collaborated as a draughtsman and engraver on the plates for the Abbé de St-Non’s Picturesque Journey Through Italy ( Voyage pittoresque d’Italie). He also made many engravings from his own drawings of fêtes galantes. His works are not without talent although the forms are heavy and often inaccurate and some of his pieces are highly prized. He imitated the style of Baudouin.”


Les quatre-coins (Puss in the Corner), see:

Edward Colie Caswell

Looking for a good novel to read while the 2020 campus shuts down for a winter break, Edith Wharton’s Old New York (1924) was suggested. A collection of four novellas set in the 1840s, 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s, the last, New Year’s Day, seemed timely. Although written in France, they describe Wharton’s family home at 14 West 23rd Street–the same building that now holds a Starbucks–acting as prequels to The Age of Innocence, for which she received a Pulitzer Prize in 1921. Each of the four volumes is decorated with a paper label on the cover and illustrated endpapers designed by E.C. Caswell (1879-1963).

Edward Colie Caswell may not have known he was following in  Wharton’s footsteps when, a few years later, he moved into the Chelsea Hotel also on 23rd Street, joining the musicians and writers who first gave the Hotel its reputation for housing bohemians. Suzan Mazur wrote one of the few biographical sketches of Caswell, a well-known book illustrator and columnist for The Villager newspaper. “Caswell started out at a studio in the Ovington Building on Fulton St. before moving to the Chelsea Hotel in the 1930s,” she wrote, adding that he “helped establish the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition.”

What she didn’t mention were his illustrations of Princeton University for the fictional memoir by Latta Griswold (1876-1931) entitled Deering at Princeton: a Story of College Life (1913. Recap PS3513.R786 D44 1913. Gift of Landon T. Raymond, Princeton Class of 1917 collection). It is the story of a freshman named Deering, who endured hazing, bullying, and other difficulties during his first year at Princeton.

The book was read by every student that year and in response to complaints, the author wrote a letter to the Editor of the Princetonian:

Dear Sir:— My attention has been called to the fact that in a recent story “Deering at Princeton”, published a few weeks ago, among the fictitious names given to various Princeton clubs I called one The Arch Club, assigning to it a somewhat undesirable character. It should be evident to everyone, but in case any misunderstanding should arise I desire to say through your columns, that when I selected this name I did not know that the Princeton Arch Club had been formed, and with quite different purposes from those associated with the name in my story. I regret very much that this should have happened, and offer my apologies very sincerely to any who may have been annoyed by the unfortunate mistake. In any future edition of the book the mistake will of course be rectified. Very truly yours, Latta Griswold.”– Daily Princetonian, Volume 37, Number 110, 5 November 1913

Edith Wharton (1862-1937), Old New York (New York and London : D. Appleton and Company, 1924). “The shared main title, Old New York, had served for the working title of The Age of Innocence … All four volumes printed at Van Rees Press, New York (printing completed 30 August 1924)”–Cf. Garrison.

Learn more about Edith Wharton’s New York home:

Prints wearing out? Paste in new ones.

Engraved allegorical title page by Adamo Scultori (1530–1585) with a medallion scene of the Virgin and Child, flanked by Saint Dominic and Saint Vincent. Note the close trimmed print.

When the information on this new acquisition is loaded into our online catalogue in a few weeks, the link to this physical book will probably disappear, superseded by one for the Hathi Trust digital copy. During this odd year, it is one or the other. This is too bad, given the unique material properties of our copy.

First published in 1573, compiled by the Dominican Andrea Gianetti da Salò (d. 1575) from the writings of Luis de Granada (1504–1588), the book offers a guide to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. Scultori’s engravings caught the attention of the book’s many reader, leading to its reprinting over twenty times in the following thirty years. When Scultori’s plates became worn, they were sometimes re-engraved in later editions. This 1578 Varisco edition holds a number of prints beginning to show wear.

What is most interesting in this individual book are the rich, dark prints someone pasted on top of seven original engravings, a conservation procedure not yet found in any other copy. Our dealer notes “The lack of other similarly ‘improved’ copies seems to indicate a later intervention rather than something made at the time of printing, although the skill with which the new engravings have been pasted suggests a professional, maybe a seventeenth- or eighteenth-century binder or bookseller, rather than a former owner. See: Mortimer 218 (for the 1573 edition).”

Other owners might want to check their copies.


Luis de Granada. (Andrea GIANETTI, editor.) Rosario figurato della Sacratissima Vergine Maria Madre di Dio nostra avocata... (Venice, Giovanni Varisco, 1578). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process


Here are some biographical details on Adamo Scultori (1530–1585) from Brown University:

Son of the Mantuan sculptor Giovanni Battista Mantovano (Mantuano) and brother of the engraver Diana Mantovana (Mantuana, Scultori), Adamo, like his sister, was taught to engrave as a child by his father. His earliest known work, done when still a youngster, was a series of figures from Michelangelo’s Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel. His made many engravings after the Roman court artist in Mantua, Giulio Romano, and also after the antique. He also engraved frontispieces for book illustration, and in the case of the phlebotomy manual Discorsi di Pietro Paolo Magni Piacentino sopra il modo di sanguinar… he not only designed and engraved the frontispiece of Magni’s first, 1584 edition, but also engraved–and most likely designed-the other illustrations in the book. He was active as a print dealer and publisher in Rome between ca. 1577-80.

Juggling a diabolo in 1813

Le Diable couleur de rose ou Le jeu à la mode [=The Pink Devil or The Fashionable Game] (Paris: [Louis] Janet, Libraire, rue St. Jacques No 59, [ca. 1813-1819]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

This luxury gift book/almanac for fashionable ladies features poetry, calendars, and six etchings depicting the game of ‘devil sticks’ also called the Chinese yo-yo also known as juggling a diabolo. Although the game originated in China, it was especially popular in France in the early 19th century, as seen here. The front and back endsheets incorporate gilt loops to hold a tiny pencil but there are no notes in this volume.

Bound and published by Janet, the BnF lists Pierre-Claude-Louis Janet, also known as Louis Janet (1788-1840) as a “Bookseller and bookbinder. – Son of the Parisian bookseller-bookbinder Pierre-Étienne Janet (1746-1830) and brother of the music publisher Pierre-Honoré Janet (1779? -1832) and of the engraver-publisher François-Pierre Janet (1784-1870). First established in 1810 as a satin maker and bookbinder. Patented bookseller in Paris on June 26, 1821, in succession from his father who gave him his patent (inspector’s report of April 12, 1821). Publishes almanacs, New Year’s Eve books and gift books known as “keepsakes”. Produces cardboard boxes, serial bindings and luxury bindings. Bankruptcy declared on July 6, 1838. Died in Paris in Jan. 1840. His widow succeeded him in 1841 and would practice until at least 1875.”

Janet’s “fixé sous verre” binding includes two hand painted scenes, front and back, mounted under transparent material framed with heavy gilt paper “gauffred cartonnage” []. On the cover a charming lady rises from a cloud balancing cupid on the stem of a rose. Above her is “Avis Aux Dames” or Ladies View or Ladies Point of View.

See also:

Want to learn how to juggle the diabolo?


Universal Penman variations

“…hmmm. First edition, second issue…Second edition, first issue…”

George Bickham the Elder (1684-1758), The Universal Penman, or, The Art of Writing Made Useful to the Gentleman and Scholar, As Well As the Man of Business (London: Printed by and sold for the Author, 1741). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process



A classic text in the history of writing and printing, the engraved copybook The Universal Penman by George Bickham the Elder is a must for any serious rare book collection. According to most sources, Bickham began collecting samples of English penmanship in 1733 from 25 London writing masters. A master engraver by trade, he then transferred the ink calligraphy to engraved copper plates and issued them in 52 parts between 1733 and 1741. The popular collection was reprinted and reissued continually, most recently by Gale in 2018.

Is there a definitive first edition?

Princeton University Library now holds three early collections of Bickham’s parts. Our most recent is complete with an engraved frontispiece by Hubert-François Bourguignon, commonly known as Gravelot (1699–1773), two engraved title pages, and 212 engraved plates of calligraphy. The table of contents matches one other volume but not the front matter, while the pages match a second volume but not the index. This post is not a solution but only the question, whether one set of parts is more correct than another.

Kim Sloan writes for the Dictionary of National Biography:

Bickham, George (1683/4–1758), engraver and writing-master, was born in London; he was said to have been seventy-four when he died in 1758. …Bickham was apprenticed to the writing-master and engraver John Sturt and quickly gained a good reputation among writing-masters as an engraver of calligraphy. Joseph Champion claimed Bickham surpassed his master by being the first to cut through wax on copper without tracing the design first, thus transmitting the master’s original more faithfully. …In his first surviving trade card, of 1705, Bickham advertised himself as a copperplate-engraver and teacher of drawing at Hoop Alley in Old Street, London.

…In 1723, while living in the parish of St Leonard, Shoreditch, in London, he was declared insolvent and imprisoned. Three years later he designed and engraved several plates in Thomas Weston’s Writing, drawing and ancient arithmetick for the use of the young gentlemen at the academy at Greenwich, a school at which his son George later taught drawing. Several combination drawing and writing copybooks were published by George Bickham in the 1720s and early 1730s, and it is impossible to say for certain whether father, son, or both were responsible for them, since by this date both taught drawing and both were skilled engravers.

Often—as in the case of The Drawing and Writing Tutor—the first edition is undated and later editions contain additional plates clearly engraved by the son. However, the invention of plates which cleverly combined simple drawing examples with calligraphic text can undoubtedly be attributed to the father.

In the 1730s the elder Bickham seems to have settled fairly permanently in the Clerkenwell district of London, where his Penmanship in its Utmost Beauty and Extent (1731) was sold from his premises in Warner Street. Two years later he embarked on his most important contribution to British engraving, The Universal Penman, a joint work with his son and John Bickham (fl. 1730–1750), his son or brother, which was sold from his house in James Street, Bunhill Fields. Issued in fifty-two parts from 1733 to 1741, it was the culmination of his work as an engraver of calligraphy: it contained examples by twenty-five contemporary writing-masters on 212 folio copperplates, many embellished with decorations engraved by his son, as the elder Bickham firmly believed that drawing was a necessary qualification for the man of business.

Or woman of business


“By the Arts of Reading and Writing we can sit at Home and acquaint our selves with what is done in all the distant Parts of the World, & find what our Fathers did long ago in the first Ages of Mankind.”



Ragamuffin Day cancelled

“The entire Ragamuffin Parade Committee is heartbroken,” wrote the 2020 committee, “that we will be disappointing so many children and, of course, their parents by not having this big, fun event along Third Avenue this year.”


Don Freeman (1908-1978), Dress Up Day, ca. 1936. Lithograph.

First held on Thanksgiving in 1870, American children would dress as beggars or street urchins and go door to door asking for candy and pennies. Eventually, uncontrolled begging was replaced with an annual costume parade. Last held in Manhattan around 1956, the parade was revived in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and continues along Ragamuffin Way each year (except during the present Covid 19 epidemic).

James Greenwood (1832-1929), The True History of a Little Ragamuffin (London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler, 1867). Not yet at Princeton University Library. See David Croal Thomson , Life and labours of Hablôt Knight Browne, “Phiz” (London, Chapman and Hall, 1884). Graphic Arts Collection oversize 2008-0463Q. 20-volume set, extra-illustrated with tipped-in works by Browne, including: etchings (some hand-colored); engravings; aquatints; lithographs; wood engravings; pencil drawings (some with added gouache); pen and ink washes; watercolors; one albumen photograph of a drawing; illustrated letters; and book covers.

Le Gueux = The Beggar

Eugène Héros (1860-1925) editor, Le gueux. January 1891-October 1892. Monthly. [Paris, 35, rue d’Hauteville: Gueux, 1891-92]. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process



The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired 16 individual fascicles, a complete run, of the short lived satirical monthly Le gueux (The Beggar), edited and printed by the lyricist Eugène Héros. A trained lawyer and member of Le chat noir, Héros later became managing director of the Théâtre du Palais Royal (1907-1910) and manager of La Scala (1914-1918). In between writing popular songs, he published the pamphlet Suppression de l’assistance publique (Paris: P. Andreol, 1890), followed by La partie de baccara: comédie-vaudeville en un acte, the first of many plays.



Each issue of Gueux has a singular color lithograph on its cover designed by H. Gray (Henri Boulanger 1858–1924), Jules-Alexandre Grün (1868–1938), Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923), Victor Sorel, Lilé, Jasmin, and Tzar. Number 9 has the a center fold by Steinlen, also seen on sheet music, titled Mon petit salé (My salted pork).


Also included in one issue is a subscription card and receipt card designed by H. Gray (Henri Boulanger 1858–1924).


Fitzgerald, Joyce, and Beach dine together June 27, 1928

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), The Great Gatsby (New York: Scribner’s 1925). Beach 3740.8.341.11 c.4

Answering a reference question this morning, this charming sketch appeared. It is well-known in the Fitzgerald circles but makes for a nice ending to the week.

For the complete story, see J.D. Thomas, “F. Scott Fitzgerald: James Joyce’s “Most Devoted” Admirer,” The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review 5 (2006), pp. 65-85




La Flaca, La Madeja Politica, La Carcajada, and El Lio

La Flaca, La Madeja Politica, La Carcajada, El Lio (Barcelona, March 1869 – March 1876). Complete with 256 weekly issues bound in 3 volumes, sophisticated copy. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process


Latin American Studies and the Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a scarce complete run of this remarkably well-illustrated satirical weekly, which began life as La Flaca. Each issue is typically comprised of one bifolium with a full-page color lithograph in volume 1 and in volume 2 ans 3, a double-page lithograph. More digital images have been posted at:

Published in Barcelona, the Republican magazine faced intense government censorship and so, frequently changed its name, switching from La Flaca to La Carcajada, then La Madeja, La Madeja Política, and finally El Lio to avoid the censors. Biting criticism of the Spanish government and church was a staple while promoting freedom of the press.

The magazine’s chief illustrator was Tomás Padró y Pedret (1840-1877), who should be listed among the great caricaturist of the period. Born in Barcelona to a family of artists, he studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. It has been noted that another student, Mariano Fortuny, introduced him to the drawings by Paul Gavarni, an obvious influence in his satirical work. it is interesting that many plates use the iconography of drawing or writing or printmaking in their satirical message.

“The title was an ironic allusion to the plight of the Spanish people: the rickety woman with a shield bearing the country’s coat of arms and laurel wreath, accompanied by an equally starving lion on the cover of the magazine was a satire allegory of the woman and the lion fomented by the authorities in the 19th century and supposed to embody the alliance between the monarchy and the people.”

The contents are as follows:
Volume 1: La Flaca, nos. 1-100 (3rd of April 1869-3rd of September 1871). NB: no. 1 not dated.

Volume 2: La Carcajada, nos. 1-37 (17th of January 1872-31st of October 1872); La Flaca, nos. 38-84 (7th of November 1872-4th of October 1873).

Volume 3: La Madeja Politica, nos. 1-14 (1st of November 1873 – 31st of January 1873); El Lio, nos. 1-7 (7th of February 1874-18th of April 1874); La Madeja, nos. 22-50 (2nd of May 1874-19th of December 1874); La Madeja, nos. 1-22 (2nd of January 1875-3rd of March 1876).