Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Rare Work of Jacob Abbott

Jacob Abbott (1803-1879) was a prolific 19th century author of children's books and religious works. His 10 Rollo's Travels books have been reprinted by upwards of 30 publishers in various formats. His other works The Franconia Stories, The Rollo Story Books, Harper Story Books among others are moralistic tales of children. Over the course of his life he penned more than 200 books. These are well described by Carl J. Weber in his "A Bibliography of Jacob Abbott" Colby College Press 1948. This volume lists all the titles although not all the various publishers' reprints. At least that is what I thought until recently.

A new piece by Jacob and his brother John S.C. Abbott has come to my attention.

The Abbott's produced drawing lessons for "schools and families". Published in 1845 by Saxton & Miles the they published an eight page pamphlet entitled "Directions to accompany Abbott's Series of Drawing Cards". Their pamphlet gives directions to the student on materials, proportion, perpendicularity, etc. The pamphlet as well as 26 "drawing cards" are contained within a box with the Clark & Austin imprint.

The cards-two of which are shown here- are of simple scenes of houses, trees, fields and the like.

Although many of Abbott's works are quite uncommon, I believe this piece to be among the rarest of his works.

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