New Exhibition “Ice and Snow” Opening December 20th!

bothshoppedOur next exhibition is right around the corner! This one will celebrate all things cold, frozen, and snowy. Opening on December 20th and on view until March 26th, “Ice and Snow,” will feature wintry scenes from Cotsen Children’s Library that celebrate the season.

Advertising for our show is provided by none other than Fall and Winter themselves. The above images have been blown up for display in the exhibition cases in preparation for the show:

bothcasesThese images have also been sourced from the collection. The original prints were created by the Czech illustrator Helena Zmatlíková (Praha : Odeon, c.1968) titled, in both Czech and French, Podzim : L’Automne and Zima : L’Hiver (respectively).

Our blow-ups measure 54 X 55 inches and old man Fall and old lady Winter have come a long way since they were found as prints pasted on 12 x 15 inch drywall panels:

originalscan2

Cotsen 40757

original-scan

Cotsen 151645

So come see Podzim and Zima before they are taken down to reveal the real surprise. Join us in the Cotsen Children’s Library from 9-5 on weekdays and 12-5 on weekends starting December 20th for a celebration of Winter!

_________________________________________________________________________

Special thanks to Squirrel Walsh, RBSC Imaging Services Coordinator for the excellent digitization of the original items (and many more!), and to Barbara Valenza and the rest of the Princeton University Print and Mail Services team for the awesome job (that they always do) making our collections larger than life and entertaining my unorthodox print requests. . .

Alice’s Adventures in a Fore-edge Painting

frontandtp

Frontispiece (signed by Dalziel) and title page of Cotsen 30998 (protective tissue not shown).

One of Cotsen’s numerous editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has an especially attractive feature. Our copy of an 1877 reprint (London: Macmillan and Co.) of the 1866 first edition contains a particularly attractive fore-edge painting:

When this gilded fore-edge is fanned in a downward direction, a painting is revealed

When this gilded fore-edge is fanned in a downward direction, a painting is revealed:

fore-edgegif

fore-edgepainting

Contemporary bookbinders, publishers, and printers, Maclaren & Macniven’s (Edinburgh) binder’s stamp can still be made out on the front free endpaper verso. Since we know they are responsible for the excellent ruled and gilt-stamped red morocco binding, gilt-tooled dentelles and marbled endpapers, it’s reasonable to assume that they are responsible for the fore-edge painting as well; especially because gilt is typically applied to edges after such a treatment in order to protect and conceal it.

Though not exactly alike (and obviously in color), the painting resembles Tenniel’s original illustration found on page 97:

Vignette, page 97

Vignette, page 97

Though fore-edge marking and devices have been found in manuscripts as early as the 10th Century, disappearing fore-edge paintings (like the one above) seem to have been developed some time in the mid 17th Century. Most surviving examples are English and were produced in the late 19th Century. Exceedingly rare, this is Cotsen’s only example in the collection.

If you want even more Alice (and who doesn’t?) join us in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with our newest exhibition curated by our Rare Books Cataloger, Jeff Barton:

smallaliceposter