London: Dean's Rag Book Co. Ltd., 1905. Cloth. Illustrations by Cecil Aldin. 4to. Tan cloth exterior with brown-edged red lettering and white, red and brown pictorial printing and enitre volume of double-fold linen, with red cloth spine replaced with hand-stitching. (20pp). Numerous partly-color illustrations. Good plus. Stitched spine rustic and typical yet strong; mild age toning to outer "wrappers" and page edges age toned -- but internally bright and quite nice. Item #46851
Charming doesn't begin to describe this delightful and early cloth book, No. 70 in this pioneering cloth book publisher's "Rag Book" series. Text entirely in brown and plentiful illustrations in brown, red, tan, blue and grey. Of interest is the fact that two bear cubs illustrate the front wrapper and appear often within -- looking much like the "teddy bear" named after Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt and introduced into popular culture in 1902, followed by the iconic and wildly popular Steiff stuffed animal. In 1906 author Seymour Eaton (under pseudonym "Paul Piper") published the first of several "The Roosevelt Bears" books -- but Bingham's cloth book precedes this and may possibly represent the first use of a teddy bear-inspired bear in book form. Inside front "cover" bears a nonauthorial gift inscription in brown ink: "To my dear / little Florence, / From her / Aunt Marty / Xmas 1911" -- and laid in is a 5½" X 3½" slip on which Florence in old age penned "The cloth book is one I was given by my Aunt Marjorie when I was (two)? Use it for decoration or whatever --" -- undated but likely 1980s vintage. These delicate productions are quite scarce in handleable condition and this a lovely example.