Early 18th-century scrapbook

Scrapbook with about 84 cut-out images from engraved prints by Martin Engelbrecht. France, n.d. (c. 1740). [356 x 230 mm] 41 ll. (including 11 blank). Contemporary vellum.

Early example of an 18th-century scrapbook. The album contains a variety of images, including garden scenes, architectural views, mythological figures, trees, flowers, fruits, fantasy landscapes, hunting scenes, animals, costume figures, noblemen and other items. Most of the images have individually been arranged to larger scenes, filling out almost the whole page. Probably all of the clippings come from prints by Martin Engelbrecht in Augsburg. Engelbrecht received several imperial privileges for colored cut-out images between 1719 and 1739. He was the first publisher of prints solely made to be cut out. The cutting out of individual images from printed sheets, with scissors and small sharp knives, became a popular pastime at that time. The maker of the present album, probably a young lady, used a rejected cash-book of 1734 for his clippings. The first three leaves still have a few handwritten notes of cash receipts.

Scrapbooks are the forerunners of modern children’s picture books. Early examples from the first half of the 18th-century are very rare. – Binding stained, cockled and with old restorations, a few clippings with small defects.

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