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Guide to the Graphic Arts Collection
circa 1700-circa 1950
  PR 22

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jenny Gotwals

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 29, 2022
The finding aid is written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series II. European Graphic Arts

Scope and Contents note

Pantins (French) are human torsos printed with separate limbs and heads. The pieces are meant to be cut out and then reattached with string to make a kind of puppet. "At first the pantins were designed for children's toys; but after a time they were used to amuse the entire public. All the parts of the body were separated and were attached by strings at the back of the figure. When the strings were pulled the arms, legs, and head were all joined together and the pantin could be made to dance." (from Singleton, Esther. Dolls . New York: Payson & Clarke, 1927.) Two sheets have couples, often caricatured, printed together, the others are generally prints of one woman or man. Some are handcolored. One has "1662" written in pencil along the bottom.

Folk Art is all from the Nadelman Collection, and is from multiple European countries. Most of the material is French, with some German, British, and unidentified works. Similar items have been grouped together if possible. Multiple French posters or broadsides show mythological scenes (for example, Pyramus and Thisbe) accompanied by a lengthy poem. Several sheets show scenes from the Fables of Lafontaine. Religious images abound. Two German certificates, one from 1765, may be birth certificates. A French game titled "La vie humaine" is printed on silk and seems to have been published in German, English as well as French [1775? Jane Carson, 1965]. A British advertisement for Rowland's Macassar Oil is included here. Some small broadsides or posters are printed on cardboard. Smaller material includes a group of chromolithographs of children printed in 1837 by von Arnz & Co. of Dusseldorf, Germany (in portfolio entitled "Bilderbuch"). Six panels of a myriorama (an infinitely rearrangeable landscape illustration) are printed on thick stock and can be moved around to change the scenery of the picture. Chromolithography scraps include attached sheets of butterflies and fishes, and scenes from fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. One folder of watercolored and collaged historical figures includes a likeness of Queen Victoria on horseback from 1840.

Toys and Games (British) are mainly games in which a paper playing board folds out from a cardstock book-like enclosure or case. Several of these games include the case as well as the rules of play. None include playing pieces. In most cases, the paper has been completely folded out and silked to keep it flat. Most of these games were produced by color lithography. A few are black and white. Board games include: "Wallis' Elegant and Instructive Game exhibiting the Wonders of Art, in Each Quarter of the World" (1823), "Spooner's Game of English History" (1847), "The New & Favorite Game of Mother Goose and the Golden Egg" (1808), "The Game of Human Life," "The Journey, or Cross Roads to Conqueror's Castle," "The New Game of Virtue Rewarded and Vice Punished for the Amusement of Youth of Both Sexes" (1818), and "The Royal Race Course: A Merry Round Game" (1852). A hand-colored rebus from 1794 is accompanied by a translation of the picture-puzzle. "Goode's American Nuts and Crackers," printed in London, is a poster offering riddles and jokes to the reader. William Spooner, the London publisher of several of these games, was known for his high quality toys & games.

Bird Prints (British) consists of four prints of birds made by Prideaux John Selby (1788-1867), often considered the British Audubon. The plates may be from the book Natural History of Pigeons . One is dated 1829. The plates are titled, "Common Shoveler, male and female," "Common Wild Duck," "Common heron," and "Common Cinerous Crane." All measure 27 by 21.5 inches.

Jigsaw Puzzles consist of three completed puzzles mounted on board from the Nadelman Folk Art Collection. Two are handcolored. Two puzzles are French, one shows the "Battle of Inkermann," the other shows the "Promenade de S.M. Le Roi de Rome," depicting Napoleon II. The third puzzle shows a walking couple; its country of origin is unidentified.

Military Costume Prints (French) are about 30 hand colored sheets showing the costumes of different French army regiments. Most are labeled as to the regiments' name and region.

Materials are ordered based on chronology when it could be determined. Small materials are boxed, and larger materials are housed flat in horizontal map-case drawers and in oversize drawers.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 6 Folder : 16 Pantins (French)
Box: 6 Folder : 17 Folk Art. Collaged figures
1840, undated
Box: 7 Folder : 18 Folk Art. Miscellaneous (general, unidentified)
Box: 7 Folder : 19 Folk Art. German miscellaneous
Box: 7 Folder : 20 Folk Art. French miscellaneous
Box: 7 Folder : 21 Folk Art. French—scenes of children playing
Box: 7 Folder : 22 Folk Art. Chromolithography scraps
Box: 7 Folder : 23 Folk Art. Panels from serial landscape
Drawer: FF-2 Folder : 37-38 Folk Art (2 flat folders)
1791-1882, undated
Drawer: FF-3 Folder : 39 Toys and Games, British (flat folder)
1794-1852, undated
Drawer: FF-3 Folder : 40 Bird Prints, British (flat folder)
1829, undated
Drawer: FF-3 Folder : 41 Jigsaw Puzzles (mounted on board) (flat folder)
[1830], undated
Drawer: FF-3 Folder : 42 Military Costume Prints, French (flat folder)

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