Songs for the Nursery

Collected from the Works of the Most Renowned Poets, and Adapted to Favourite National Melodies

[DARTON, William]

[DARTON, William] Songs for the Nursery Collected from the Works of the Most Renowned Poets, and Adapted to Favourite National Melodies

William Darton, 1825.

Third Darton printing, rare hand-coloured issue. Square 16mo (130x105mm). Original muslin covered boards with title label to upper cover. Twenty-four wood engraved plates after William Marshall Craig each with original hand colouring. A very good copy indeed, sometime neatly rebacked and front endpaper renewed, small chip to the title label. Internally fresh, a very well preserved copy.

The 1825 printing, with rare hand colouring, of one of the most important and influential books of nursery rhymes, which originally contained the first appearance in print of such rhymes as Miss Muffet and Old Mother Hubbard.
First published, unillustrated, by Tabart in 1805 and then with illustration in 1808. Darton issued 1818 with re-engraved illustrations.
Many of today's well known nursery rhymes and songs found their origins in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries but were passed down in the oral tradition until the mid eighteenth century when collections were committed to print. Songs For The Nursery was the culmination of these early endeavours, without which many rhymes would have been lost.
Darton's printings were available in three states: without illustrations for sixpence, with illustrations for 1/6 and with hand coloured illustrations for 2/6. Anecdotally, it seems the majority of copies purchased were with uncoloured illustrations and examples with the original hand colouring are extremely rare. Two other copies of the 1925 printing are recorded at auction, the only hand coloured version of which was in 1978 and only three copies are recorded in institutions (V&A, Lilly Library and Chicago) none of which have hand coloured illustrations.

Stock ID: 42445


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