Thursday, December 26, 2013

Costumes of all nations / Duke Tobacco / 1888

Probably the oldest thing you'll see on Past Print.  I found this in a junk shop in 1961.  10.3 by 6.75 inches, side stapled, forty-eight pages with the left-hand ones blank, lithographed by Knapp & Co, New York and published Duke Tobacco in 1888.  It was probably stone litho, a popular printing process in those days and it wasn't uncommon to print with six or eight separate colors, gold is used for the frames on the large portraits and for some of the decorative elements on each page.  
    On the blown-up detail (image fourteen) you'll see the stipple effect used for shading and texture. Type fans will notice the three alternate lowercase d's in the introduction page.  
    Whoever had the original book left a postcard tucked in one of the pages, postmarked Chicago, December 16, 1940.  PA Grey posed a query to Cecil Smith the Chicago Tribune drama critic.  The front shows a chanteuse from Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow operetta. 

Partial blow-up of the previous image to show the stipple technique
 used to create shadows and texture.

Back cover.

Add caption


  1. Gorgeous - thank you for this post. Are the models of any significance do you know? I've never heard of any of them.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. They are all music-hall or theater stars from back then (125 years ago). The larger portraits are probably more well known than the smaller images. If you Google or Wikipedia their names photos and biographies are available.