Magic Colored Pictures

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Mother Goose, The Old Fashioned Mother Goose’ Melodies, Complete: with Magic Colored Pictures ([New York]: G.W. Carleton & Co.; Donaldson Brothers, designers & printers, MDCCCLXXIX [1879]). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2005-0660N

Before the Cotsen children’s literature collection came to Princeton, Elmer Adler collected a few specifically graphic books of juvenilia. This metamorphic (or transformation) picture book contains chromolithographed illustrations with foldout flaps. The plates are signed “W.L.S.” which refers to the Virginia-born illustrator and writer William Ludwell Sheppard (1833-1912) who worked for several of the large publishing houses such as Donaldson Brothers.

As a young man, Sheppard served in the Richmond Howitzers artillery and during the American civil war, he was a member of the Topographical Engineers Department of the Army of Northern Virginia. If you go to Richmond today, you can see three monuments he designed to honor the Confederate soldiers.

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