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Pictorial Webster's: A Visual Dictionary of Curiositiesby John M. Carrera
This "visual dictionary of curiosities" is charming, quirky, and endlessly entertaining. (It's also very hard to put down.) Fascinating images reproduced from wood engravings illustrate words from albatross and abracadabra to zibeth and zodiac."
Synopses & Reviews
Featuring over 1,500 engravings that originally graced the pages of Webster's dictionaries in the 19th century, this chunky volume is an irresistible treasure trove for art lovers, designers, and anyone with an interest in visual history.
Meticulously cleaned and restored by fine-press bookmaker Johnny Carrera, the engravings in Pictorial Webster's have been compiled into an alluring and unusual visual reference guide for the modern day. Images range from the entirely mysterious to the classically iconic. From Acorns to Zebras, Bell Jars to Velocipedes, these alphabetically arranged archetypes and curiosities create enigmatic juxtapositions and illustrate the items deemed important to the Victorian mind.
Sure to inspire and delight, Pictorial Webster's is at once a fascinating historical record and a stunning jewel of a book.
Book News Annotation:
In 1995, printer, bookbinder, and artist Carrera found a worn 1898 Webster's International Dictionary in his grandmother's stone farmhouse, which included an 80-page section of illustrations to the dictionary. Finding that the original wood engravings still existed--as property of Yale University since 1977--he obtained permission to clean and restore them, and to print an artist's book. Subsequently released as this trade edition by Chronicle Books, the collection contains 1500 alphabetically-arranged b&w images, enlarged somewhat from the artist's edition to enable readers to appreciate the fine detail. Collectively they provide a view of what 19th-century American society valued of their world. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Featuring more than 1,500 engravings that originally graced the pages of Webster's dictionaries in the 19th century, this volume is an irresistible treasure trove for art lovers, designers, and those with an interest in visual history.
About the Author
John M. Carrera is a printer, bookbinder, and artist who has taught and lectured extensively. He is the founder and proprietor of Quercus Press letterpress and bindery. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.
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