Lovely and Very Rare Wrifford's 1813 New System of Penmanship Instruction Booklet

Regular price $30.00

This is a super rare one from what I can tell, published in Boston in 1813, making it a very early example of penmanship instruction, too. I was sold as soon as a saw the blue paper with cut and pasted letterpress printed title, but there are plenty of delights inside, including the fact that it was once possessed by a Persis Rice (what a great name) who wrote her name both in ink and pencil on the inside cover and dated it 1817. (I found a record of her I believe, 1782-1857, of Worcester County, MA.) Unlike later penmanship books, this one provided no designated space or guides for practicing, but in several instances our Persis tried her hand, quite unsteadily, at copying the lessons on the opposite blank pages in pencil. The booklet begins with a bunch of pages dedicated to very specifically detailing the characteristic of the penmanship being taught and rationale behind it, concluding "The whole force, beauty and excellence of a fine piece of penmanship rests on a few points, viz. the proper adjustment off neat cut strokes--graceful turns--at equal slant--equal distance and length; and to one of these points every excellence or defect may be referred.

7 7/8” x 2 7/8” and in overall very good condition for its age, with no missing or loose pages and binding holding fine. Some staining to the blue paper cover and some toning to pages.