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UNUSUALLY DECORATIVE SEAWEED ALBUM
"OCEAN GEMS" Sold for Mullers Orphan House near Bristol. Thirty six examples of seaweeds, arranged rather decoratively on paper, and mounted into album leaves [together with two unmounted examples]. Bound into half calf album approx 25.5 cm x 18 cm with brown book cloth to the boards. Gilt lined with title to front board. The manuscript frontis has "sold for Mullers Orphan House near Bristol" in brown ink to one corner. This is an unusually decorative album in that the specimens have been arranged to show their beauty rather than their scientific interest. Some of the examples arranged into circular patterns must have been extraordinarily difficult to arrange. The compiler of this album is anonymous, but there is a great deal of information available online about the Müllers Orphan Houses. Founded by the Prussian George Müller who came to England in 1829, and Bristol in 1835, he began his charitable work founding day schools for Bristol children. In 1826 he opened his first orphanage for 26 girls, funded by donations and gifts. It seems likely that amongst his supporters was someone who was making seaweed albums for sale , to raise funds. In 1847 first purpose built orphanage was started on a seven acre site on Ashley Down, near Bristol, opening in 1849. Other orphanages were opened in subsequent years, but since the inscription reads "sold for Mullers Orphan House" (in the singular), we date this album to somewhere between 1847-1851. A lovely example of a seaweed album.
      [Bookseller: John Underwood Antiquarian Books]
Last Found On: 2017-08-18           Check availability:      PBFA    

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