Alphabets Plain Ornamented and Illuminated: A Selection from the Best Ancient and Modern Styles, Particularly Adapted for the Use of Painters, Engravers, Marbleworkers and Illuminators
First edition, n.d. Presumed published in the 1860s, this is a possible later issue, containing a reference to the Vienna World’s Fair in the publisher’s ads. Small oblong quarto, 7 x 10.75 inches, bound in pebbled cloth with beveled boards, decorative gilt stamped title. 18 leaves consisted of a title page, preface, 15 leaves of alphabets, and publisher’s notice at rear. Title pages and three alphabets printed with blue and red accents and gilt ornamentation. A Very Good copy with mild intermittent foxing, sunning and rubbing to boards.
This is the first book of alphabets published by Prang. "A hand-book of this description has long been needed by Painters, Engravers, Marble Workers, and others, —the existing works of this nature being cumbersome and expensive… We do not offer any designs claiming originality, but have simply endeavored to compile from the standard English, German, and American works, the most valued specimens..." (preface) Unlike later Prang alphabets which featured the company's signature ornate chromolithography and scripts, this is largely a practical reference printed in a subdued style reflective of the earlier date and of Prang’s eagerness to reach any and all markets for his trade. Very scarce in commerce.