Bikupan [1879-1880] Tidning för söndagsskolan och barnen i hemmet
by Various authors
Göteborg [Sweden]: Göteborgs Handelstidnings Aktiebolags Tryckeri. Very Good. 1879. First Edition. Hardcover. [vi] & 192; [iv] & 192 pages; Contemporary marbled paper-covered boards, black pebbled cloth flat spine with titles and dates lettered in gilt. There are two small chips to the cloth of the spine, minor rubbing, and several of the issues display faint traces of a vertical fold. Two years (1879-1880), bound together in a single volume, of this charming Swedish-language periodical for children. ["Bikupan" can be translated into English as "beehive"]. Issued roughly every two weeks -- 24 issues to the year, typically four leaves / 8 pages each. (The first issue for 1879 is not bound with this volume -- no evidence of damage or extraction is evident in the binding or its sewing). Each issue has a full-page wood engraving as a title page, and either one other full-page illustration, or a couple of smaller plates. Technically, this was a Sunday School publication, and some of the subjects are religious, but most of the illustrations depict children, many with toys or animals, or other subjects which might interest children. The wonderful illustrations were clearly gathered from several sources. The cover of the first issue bound here depicts a young boy's first outing on ice skates, and is signed (in the plate) J. R. Ashton -- [Julian Rossi Ashton (1851-1942), British-born artist who emigrated to Australia in 1878, founded the School of Art in Sydney now named for him, and published an autobiography in 1941 after a long and successful career]. This volume is also part of the social history of Harlem, as it has an ownership signature on the paste down endpaper in ink: "Flora Malmstadt / New york Sep. 7th. 1881 / No 63 west 124th st." The address in upper Manhattan is in the heart of Harlem; while now the site supports a seven-story apartment building built in 2001, in the late nineteeth century, numbers 61 & 63 sported an adjoining pair of handsome frame houses. It seems fortunate now that in 1932, a realtor named J. Clarence Davies, a collector of New Yorkiana and patron of the Museum of the City of New York's Print Department, commissioned photographer Charles Von Urban to document New York City buildings that were thought likely to be threatened with demolition. Charles Von Urban is thought to have included photographs of every wooden-frame building then extant in Manhattan -- including the pair whose right hand half housed the Malmstadt sisters one hundred and thirty five years ago -- (see image at Museum of the City of New York). Text entirely in Swedish. . (Inventory #: 40504)
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