Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Forget Me Not Friendship/Autograph Book

{Collaged page with what looks like a fantasy grained painted background }

Last night while I was searching for groundhog and woodchuck imagery, I came upon this lovely handmade friendship album from the early 19th century. The owner of the book was Anne Wagner ~ she and her circle of friends must have been well schooled in the arts of illustration, design and penmanship. The diminutive book is chock full of a combination of naively painted illustrations, collage work, wonderful graphic layouts and beautiful calligraphy ~ there are entries dated from 1795 to 1834.

Below is a good selection of pages from the book ~ all of the images are from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery ~ make sure to visit ~ you won't be sorry! What a treasure ~ wouldn't it just make your day to find something like this?!

{beribboned lock of hair}

{charming and romantic watercolors}

{patriotic? illustration}

{doodles from 1804}

{doesn't everyone have at least one friend who is a Viscountess?}

{interesting variety of graphic treatments ~ borders and layout}

{paper cuts and embossed foils collaged on painted background}


Learning Spanish at 41 said...

Think of the hours of work that went into this album...very elegant.

Gina Martin said...

thanks for the link & the inspiration, julie! i love sites like this & can get sucked into digitized archives for hours...this is one i hadn't visited!

Steve Haskamp said...

It's amazing how detailed the illustrations are and how gorgeous the penmanship is. I guess since they weren't spending all their evenings watching American Idol, etc (not that I watch those shows!) they could concentrate on creating such beauty.