Augusta Hewlett's Stunning 1835-1847 Penmanship Notebook with Elaborate Alphabets and Family Records

Regular price $215.00

This one! I do believe it's the most stunning 19th century penmanship notebook I've had, British I believe, and especially special for its variety of elaborately penned alphabets (including one page with Armenian, Syriac, Arabic, Rabbinical and Samaritan alphabets, and also a couple with curiously futuristic looking/ late 1970s-esque sans serif lettering). It also features exquisitely lettered lists of Augusta Hewlett's family members, including the dates of their birth, and some fantastic large, early Spencerian lettering incorporating a woman's face in profile a a little squirrel with bushy tail, too! Photos tell the story best, so I've included a lot, and it is much more beautiful in person, with many more pages than documented here.

I am also always super interested in these for the content and what it says about the times, and this one, spanning 1835-1847, from when Augusta was 8 years old until she was 20, tells a lot. It includes such phrases as "It is good to have a friend," Revenge belongs to God alone," "Scrutinize and rectify yourself," "Pride goeth before destruction," "Boast not of thine own," "Wastefulness brings want" and, my favorite, "Thorny is the wicked's pill."  It also shows a progression in Augusta's skills, and in  lettering style, over the course of more than a decade. 

Dimensions: 9 3/16" x 7 5/8" x 5/8". 48 pages filled (most on one side only, a couple with writing on both sides), plus 32 blank pages. Paper held to light reveals watermark "Gates 1824."  Very dark, clear ink throughout--really stunning. The cover has come apart from the pages but remains in one piece, substantial in weight, worn at the spine but in fairly good condition and not fragile.  It would not be at all difficult to cleanly remove pages to frame.

About 90 years ago someone adhered a note to the hand-marbled cover noting Augusta's age when she began it--perhaps a school teacher trying to impress their students with a model of good penmanship!