****Newly available as the buyer who claimed this disappeared! *****
I have long been eyeing antique school notebooks, both relating to the study of math and writing/penmanship, and finally found a lovely set of five of them from a seller in England, which I am listing individually. This is the oldest among them, a math notebook of a Samuel Gifford Junior of Blackford Somerset, dating to 1802, with a note on the first inside page that he died a year later, at age 10. (The others, of an S. Gifford, date to the early 1830s who was studying at an Academy in Sherborne; it is my guess that he was likely the son of Samuel Jrs. brother.)
I find all of them exquisitely beautiful, and of course awe-inspiring for both the fineness of the writing and the rigor of the study. They are also wonderfully revealing of time and place, perhaps best encapsulated here in the examples of bills--for a carpenter, a farmer, a silk mercer, a wine and spirit merchant, etc.-near the end. In this one--before the time of pre-printed workbooks--it appears that a tutor often wrote the headers/introduced the problems to be solved, then our young Samuel wrote in the answers. Perhaps an ideal gift for a very studious school aged child--or for one needing a little inspiration!
A total of 46 pages, all filled. In excellent condition considering it is more than 200 years old; the text is clear and completely readable. There is wear to the top and bottom spine edge of the paper cover and a little flagging to corners but it remains tightly bound and very stable. 7 3/4" t x 6 1/4" w x 1/4" thick. Photos try to give an accurate but not entirely comprehensive sense of content.