Autograph album with paintings

blog painting 4During the 19th and early 20th centuries, autograph albums were quite popular.  These handy little books of blank pages would be passed around amongst friends, who would usually write a little memento, poem (original or quoted), or merely their signature and address.  Similar to what modern kids do in yearbooks, but a little more involved.  The owner would often carry the book around throughout his or her (usually, her) life, and the album would become a record of this person’s social life.

blog painting 1These are quite enjoyable, and a lot of people collect them not only for that slice of 19th-century sentimentality or amateur poetry, but also for the very real historical and genealogical data they may contain.

The images with this post are from a spectacular such book from 1790s Germany.  These are a few of the original paintings (and one calligraphy work)    that are in the book, which just measures about 4″ high.  Can you imagine painting this well & that small??

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