Title: Friendship’s Offering, presentation plate

Date: 185?

Bibliographic Citation: Friendship’s Offering: A Christmas, New Year, and Birthday Gift. New York: Leavitt & Allen, 185?.

AY11 F8 1850z

Notes: The presentation page of this literary annual shows an encounter between print and script. The dedication—especially the signature of the giver—is extremely important for the social function of the giftbook. The autograph, a word coined in the early nineteenth century, functions as a metonym of the giver, a piece of the friend that will remain within the pages of the book like a lock of hair or a pressed flower. The autograph is also important because it translates the mass-produced object into a personal and personalized artefact. The design of the page incorporates natural beauties—birds, vines, and flowers—as well as stylized, marmoreal shapes capped by a sculpted vase. This combination speaks to the annual’s curious position between ephemerality and permanence. This same tension is exemplified in the interaction of manuscript and printed text: the pre-formed decoration encases the hand-written sentiment.

Language: English

Subject: Gift books.

Publisher: Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University

is Part Of Exhibition: Interactions of Script and Print in the Nineteenth Century

Exhibition Theme: Writing and Sharing

Call Number: AY11 F8 1850z

Image Identifier: AY11_F8_1850z_Titlepage