CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY - INSTRUCTIONAL CARDS.

Pantheon or Heathen Mythology in Cards,

calculated for the instruction of youth, each Card decorated with a neat Engraving, representing either some Deity or some memorable action, selected from among the many Ingenious Fables of Antiquity, each Deity distinguished by such emblems as are usually given them by the Poets or Medals of the Antients, so that even Persons of a Mature Age, may find Amusement in the Perusal of them.

[London?: c.1790?] Stock Code: 147405
£4,500.00
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Rare set of cards, retaining original box

A set of the Pantheon cards, retaining the original card box, designed to introduce children to Greek and Roman mythology, each card with a depiction of a deity, hero or memorable event selected from the myths of antiquity, with explanatory details below.

The terminal card is captioned, under a depiction of Mount Olympus, "Sold only at Willerton's Toy Shop in Bond Street, Publish'd as the Act Directs". A date of the 1770s is sometimes given, though Princeton gives the date as c.1790 for the set in the Cotsen Library; in this set, three cards have a pencilled date of 1800 on the verso. The Cotsen set is listed as having 54 cards, this 52, and in the consecutive hand-numbering of this set, number 21 (Ganymede) and 47 (the Syrens) are missing. Irrespective, such sets from the 18th century are very rare, and even more so retaining their original cases. The only other institutional sets which could be traced, other than the Cotsen holding, are those in Yale (Cary Collection), and the British Museum (Schreiber Collection).

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Description

52 cards (of 54), (91 x 61 mm), including title and terminal card, each engraved, with contemporary numbering on versos; retaining the original card box, with engraved label. Housed in a black cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.

Condition

The box worn but holding with the top panel detached and mostly gone; the cards in excellent condition.

Bibliography

Schreiber catalogue 154. Not in Whiting, Mann, or Hargrave.

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