The Young Artist

The Juvenile Keepsake.  Boston: G.W. Cottrell, ca. 1853. 
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This charming picture book was published as an advertisement for the Wilcox Silver Plate Co.  The drawings were designed by English illustrator Thomas Frederick Crane (1844-1927), and are reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts decorative style of William Morris and of the quasi-historical quaintness of Kate Greenaway.  This is a rare illustration of a Victorian bathroom found in an American children’s picture book: we see young Tom peeking out of the bath tub, calling out to his brother Ted, “I’m a seal at the zoo!”  It reminds us of a child’s timeless fascination with the aquatic possibilities of the bathtub. 

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