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Lander, Sarah W. Spectacles for young eyes. Berlin, Boston, Moscow, Pekin, Rome, St. Petersburg, Zurich. Boston & New York: Walker, Fuller & Co. and Sheldon & Co., 1866 & 1867. 16mo (17.3 cm, 6.81"). 7 vols. Berlin: Frontis., engr. t-p., 192, [2 (adv.)], 2 (adv.) pp.; 5 plts., illus. Boston: Frontis., engr. t.-p., 202, [6 (adv.)] pp.; 7 plts. Moscow: Frontis., engr. t.-p., 202, [2 (adv.)] pp.; 5 plts., illus. Pekin: Frontis., engr. t.-p., 218, [8 (adv.)] pp.; 4 plts., illus. Rome: Frontis., engr. t.-p., 194 pp.; 4 plts., illus. St. Petersburg: Frontis., engr. t.-p., 203, , [6 adv.)] pp.; 6 plts., illus. Zurich: Frontis., engr. t-p., 205, , [6 (adv.)] pp.; 6 plts., illus. (All frontis. & add. t.-p. incl. in pagination). $235.00
Seven-volume matched set of early printings of these children's travelogues from the "Spectacles for Young Eyes" series by Sarah West Lander (1810–72), allowing => young travelers to see the culture, the people, and the geographic offerings of cities around the world. In her fictional voyages, Lander conveys travel information through characters who share stories and educate one other on the cities' histories. Many => picturesque wood engravings, both in-text and as plates, illustrate the cities and their traditions. The wood-engraved title-page found in each volume features a pair of glasses, with scenes of adventure and travel shown through the lenses.
There were eventually eight cities covered by the series (the original publisher had proposed a total of 13, but in the end added only New York to the volumes listed here), with vols. 1–6 first printed by Walker, Wise, and Co. from 1861 through 1865. Boston is here in its first edition from Sheldon & Co., and the other volumes are all early Walker or Sheldon issues, ranging from second to eighth thousand printings — but all are in => matched bindings with the Sheldon name at the foot of the spine. A contemporary publisher's advertisement describes these as "the most attractive and instructive books for the young ever issued. Each volume describes, in a lively and interesting manner, the sights and sounds of the cities visited, as well as the national life, manners, and customs of the people."
Bindings: Publisher's violet-brown cloth, covers with blind-embossed borders, spines with gilt-stamped decorative titles and ivy and spectacle motifs.
Provenance: Boston and St. Petersburg (only) each with inked ownership inscription from Joseph King, dated 1869.
Sternick, Bibliography of 19th-Century Children's Series Books, 730 (incorrectly listing proposed vols. as if published, as Sternick later acknowledged online). All spines evenly sunned with extremities lightly rubbed but not pulled or broken, corners rubbed with some bumped. Boston with upper outer corner of one leaf torn away, taking one letter and just touching another, and with light offsetting to inner portions of two facing pages from something once laid in between them; Pekin with short tear from outer margin of one leaf. Pages gently and evenly age-toned; scattered small spots or areas of foxing or staining (especially to frontispiece guard leaves), overall clean and unmarked. => A decidedly nice, matched set of volumes that are much more frequently encountered individually. (41694) Please RESHELVE This.
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