This large 43-page Victorian scrapbook from the Victorian era is absolutely one of the nicest I have ever run across. I used to buy disintegrating albums to soak off the great die-cuts, trade cards and other goodies, but I could not bear to deface this album in any way by removing the scraps, Valentines and other interesting items. Not many of these early scrapbooks have survived intact, and it's unusual to find one in such good condition. Measuring 12-1/2" x 15" x 1", the scrapbook has 43 pages filled with die-cut children, ladies, politicians, flowers, vegetables, fruit, animals, bird cards, early lacy Valentines, trade cards, Christmas cards, birthday greetings, a Hold-to-Light card, Reward of Merits, calling cards, etc. The album itself is a prize. The back cover is impressed with the date, March 1876. It has wear at top and bottom of spine, but corners are good. Though the pages are brittle and edges chipped, they remain sewn into the spine. I didn't have enough slots to show all the photos I took to show you, but the outer spine shows an embossed gilded hanging flower basket, and the front cover shows embossed and gilt framed pictures in color of Victorian children at the seashore or fishing, and an image of tangerine nasturtiums. Surrounding these "cards" are a large gilded spray of blossoms and a bucolic scene of a golden castle with trees and cattle below. My history isn't good enough to recognize the two portly gentlemen on the third page, one from Massachusetts, and the other one from New York, but later in the scrapbook is a glossy bust of President Garfield, the Republican from Ohio, who served from March to September, before he was assassinated in 1881. There is also a matte engraving of Chester Arthur, who succeeded Garfield as President. There are twelve 4-1/4" x 5-3/4" lovely lithographed cards of seabirds such as the Petrel, the Frigate bird, the Guillemot, the Puffin, the Cormorant, the Albatross, the Gannet, the Kittiwake Gull, etc. Some of the trade cards are from local businesses in Alliance, Ohio, but many national companies are represented, too, with Metropolitan Life Insurance, Ayers Pectoral and Ague Cure, Dr. Price's Extracts and Perfumes, Soapine, C.I. Hood, White Sewing Machines, NYP and ORR R.R., Davis, Baxter & Co. Honey Drop Sugar Corn, Borden, Eagle Brand, Willimantic, AST Co. Children's Shoes., Clark's O.N.T., J.P. Coats, and more. My favorite, though, is a 3-5/8" x 5/3/4" trade card in the shape of narrow vertical spectacles advertising C.A. Clouser, an optician from Hartford City, Indiana. With a spectacled lady in one lens and mustached gentleman in the other, the words all around the rim of the glasses say, "Celluloid Spectacles and Eye-glasses, S.O.M. Co., Patented Mar. 13, '77, Stamped on each pair of the Genuine. Beware of Imitations. Latest, Handsomest, and most Durable. In Gold, Silver, Celluloid, Steel, Rubber, Nickle, and Frameless, etc." A great die-cut of American indians on horses says, "Buffalo Bill of the Wild West" and completes the more than 320 items displayed. This is a most remarkable album and the 137 year old scrapbook is for the connoisseur of ephemera. Thank you for visiting.
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