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Album of Original Sketches and Watercolors by Nellie Signe Lange from 1922 to 1926

Nellie Signe Lange

Published by Pike, New Hampshire
Condition: Good Hardcover
From White Fox Rare Books, ABAA/ILAB (West Windsor, VT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

13 leaves with original artwork. All art is on the recto, and cumulatively, there are seven pencil sketches and ten watercolors, some pasted onto the pages, others applied directly, but indisputably the best or most charismatic of the illustrations were applied directly, and additional, the best watercolors happen to also be full page. The leaves are from an account ledger, and many of the original pages were razored out. In all likelihood Ms. Lange requisitioned or was given an old ledger from her father's office to use for her art project, and then she cut out leaves that had artwork she was ashamed of. The pages are tall, measuring 32 by 22 cm, 13 by 8.5 inches. This was the album of a teenager who was still very much learning how to draw and paint, and thus we see efforts ranging from crude to more accomplished. A few of the works stand out as clever or eye-catching, even though one is unlikely to mistake them for professional handiwork. One can surmise that Ms. Lange may have been studying art, perhaps in a correspondence course such as was popular at the time; a few of the works seem imitative and possibly even copies of originals, and the template is quite similar to drawings found in other similar albums. It would be surprising, regardless, if such an aspiring or amateur artist would not have sought to emulate and copy what else was out there. But some of the seemingly stereotypical images are of actual people, and so one should not be tricked by the styles into confusing likenesses with samenesses. The best images include that of a soigne flapper applying lipstick, compact in hand, a mother kissing an infant with startled eyes, a young girl hugging a doll tightly while holding loosely the Christmas gift of a doll in a box, and this one has the caption, "Prefers the Old Friend", and a young woman concealing the lower part of her face with a fan. The pencil sketches ar mostly portraits, with one simple sketch having elaborate lettering serving as hair and facial features. The FEP, besides ownership information, carries the couplet: "If this book should chance to roam, Box its' ears and send it home." The heavy buckram cloth of the cover has pencil notes on it and the date 1917, when it was probably given to Nellie. The interior has some soiling but the imagery is generally quite clean. Interest in this item, regardless, will not be from the binding, but rather the insight into a young woman's mind, her aspirations to express herself artistically and finally the charm of some of the illustrations. Bookseller Inventory # 002068

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Album of Original Sketches and Watercolors ...

Publisher: Pike, New Hampshire

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Good

Store Description

Antiquarian books of all kinds, with emphases on color plate books, decorative arts, foreign literature (German, French, Italian, Spanish), children's literature, philosophy, sporting (equine, hunting, shooting).

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