SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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The Elegant Girl; or, Virtuous Principles the true Source of Elegant Manners. Illustrated by Twelve Drawings with Lines to each and a Poem called The Mother

London: S. Inman, No 7 Lambs Conduit Street, [1817]
Not in Tooley, Abbey, Osborne Collection or Gamuchian. OCLC locates 4 examples; Di Ricci, Book Collector's Guide p. 215; Tuer, Pages and Pictures from Forgotten Children's Books (1889) p. 419; E.V. Lucas, The Phantom Journal, pp. 67-69;
London: S. Inman, No 7 Lambs Conduit Street, [1817]

Engraved title with hand-coloured vignette by Alais and a further 11 (of 12, missing plate 2) hand-coloured copper-engraved plates. Oblong 4to : 233 x 335 mm (sheets), FiIRST EDITION. Contemporary quarter calf over boards, worn and rubbed, gilt to spine (worn) lower and right margin of Plate 5 restored with acid paper showing offsetting on following plate, blanks and all poem leaves creased, scattered thumb soiling, toning, and several short clean tears. A gorgeous work, with 11 finely hand-coloured copperplate engravings, charting the course of young Laura's day as she modestly demonstrates her many virtues of charity, faith, kindness, industry, and so on. At the end is a 14 page poem, The Mother, a mothers plea for guidance in the proper upbringing of her young children. In physical terms, this is probably the most sumptuous hand-coloured children's book of the pre-Victorian period (Alderson & Moon, Childhood Re-Collected, 1994) Coloured plates in order: 1. Title page. 2. Child saying her prayers before going to bed. "Devotion's lovely form we see..." 3. Child drawing its mother's attention to a young boy, outside their window, dressed in rags selling goods. "But what a picture here is given !..." 4. Young girl being tutored on the piano by her teacher. "Her Master pointing to the book..." 5. A young artist painting. "Though first the humble copyist stands..." 6. A small group of children learning their lessons outside beneath a tree. "Look at the group beneath the tree..." 7. A mother with her child, about to leave the room. "The Lady here holds out her hand..." 8. A young girl visiting an old lady with a spinning wheel "To visit a poor cottage dame..." 9. A young child bringing its ailing mother a drink "Languid and pale, the Mother lies..." 10. A mother playing the harp before her daughter "To innocence what charms belong..." 11. A young child reading to a sick lady who has taken to her bed "In sickness when the poor you see..." 12. A mother and child about to wrap up and donate boxes of gifts for the poor "Here Laura by her Mother led..."