In Its Time: TeachingLetters & Patriotism Together
Now: SHOWING USDUTCH DAILY LIFE, WORK, & GENERAL INTERESTS 1781.
[Swildens, Johan Hendrik]. Vaderlandsch A-B boek voor de Nederlandsche jeugd. Amsterdam: W. Holtrop, 1781. 8vo (21.5 cm, 8.46"). , 58,  pp.; illus. $1500.00
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First edition of this exceptionally attractive Dutch alphabet book, featuringa wealth of finely executed copper-engraved illustrations as planned by the author and executed by L. Brasser after P. Wagenaar the younger: a total of 27 half-page engraved vignettes capturing many details of everyday life and of the workings of various trades (including papermaking, and with the letter G getting two, to emphasize God), as well as a full-page alphabet in Fraktur, roman, and italic; an engraved calculation table for converting various numerals; a plate with renderings of various tools, items, and buildings; a full-page engraving representing vowels and consonants via an assortment of animals and objects; and a full-page depiction of the solar system. Swildens (1745–1809) was patriotically motivated, and hoped to inspire his youthful readers to new heights of both populist fervor and Enlightenment thought.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear.
Opie T 60. 19th-century plain paper–covered boards with ribbon-embossed green cloth shelfback; binding a little cocked with edges and extremities rubbed and the former darkened, spine sunned. Leaves gently cockled, with faint to moderate foxing most noticeable in first and last few leaves. This copy is completely free of any signs of childish use and also of institutional markings — there are no inscriptions, stamps, or any other traces of ownership institutional *or* private. (41593)