In Pursuit of a Vision > Case 8 > Ball > People of All Nations


The Details:

People of All Nations: an Useful Toy for Girl or Boy. Albany, New York: H. C. Southwick, ca. 1812. [catalog record]

Helen & Benjamin Tighe Collection of American Children’s Books, the gift of Elisabeth Ball, 1969.

The Story:

Children’s books depicting ethnic groups in native costume were popular throughout the nineteenth century. People of All Nations is an early example in miniature format, and includes images of Europeans, tradesmen with their wares, and Native Americans.

Collector Elisabeth Ball supported expansion of the Society’s juvenile collection. Opportunity came in 1969 when dealer/collector Benjamin Tighe offered the Society first choice from his holdings of children’s titles. More than 230 books were of interest, but were appraised at $20,000, a princely sum for AAS at the time. Ball generously funded the purchase.

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