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    Description

    Mahlon Day. The Picture Alphabet, or Easy Road to Learning, For Good Boys and Girls. New York: Printed and Sold by Mahlon Day, At the New Juvenile Book-Store, 1831. First edition, second issue. Original printed orange wrappers. Near fine. Detailed information available in our online catalog.

    More Information:

    Small octavo (6.375 x 4.175 inches; 62 x 105 mm.). [8] leaves, with printing on alternate rectos and versos. Wood-engraved title vignette and twenty-six illustrations, all colored by a contemporary hand.

     

    Original printed orange wrappers, with wood-engraved illustration on front wrapper and publisher's ads on rear wrapper. Subtle wear to lower front wrapper, else a near-fine copy.

     

    A stunningly well-preserved copy of this charming nineteenth century alphabet book, notably clean, crisp, and bright. As a printer-publisher, Mahlon Day attained early success with his Day's Bank Note List and Counterfeit Detector, a useful guide to determine the legitimacy of privately printed currency in the early republic. However, after 1820, Day turned his attention to the publication of juvenile literature. Along with fellow New York publishers Solomon King and Samuel Wood, Day is generally credited with bringing about a change in focus in books for children, from strictly moral and instructional works to books that were intended to be enjoyed.

     

    Of course, because they were often so well-used, it is rare to find children's books in better than good condition -- and rarer still in the case of Day's Picture Alphabet, as the publication date is 1831. Additionally, it happens to be an exceedingly scarce book: OCLC locates just two institutional copies, both of which are later editions from 1837.

     

    A stunningly well-preserved children's alphabet book from the early nineteenth century.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
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