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NISTER, Ernest (publ.)

The Soldier Panorama Book.

A novel Colour Book for Children with an Introduction by Clifton Bingham.

London: Ernest Nister, [1903] Stock Code: 133541
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Sustaining morale in the nursery

First edition of this very attractive and decidedly uncommon Nister publication, featuring five plates of arresting pop-ups, showing infantry, cavalry and horse artillery in action (including the Royal Scots Fusiliers and a Sikh regiment). The illustrator was Evelyn Stuart Hardy (1866-1935), who both wrote and illustrated children's books, and specialised in military subjects, contributing to the Illustrated London News during the late 1880s and a number of other periodicals.

In the beautifully produced Grolier Club publication Playing Soldier (2018), Richard Cheek remarks, "children were introduced at an early age to a romanticized vision of Britain's armed forces... Many of these publications were printed in Germany" and this is a conspicuous example of the genre, published in the wake of the Second Boer War (1899-1902), a British victory despite serious and costly reverses. If morale in the nursery required sustaining then this lively movable would have made a signal contribution. "Though primarily involved with his successful color-printing business, publisher and printer Ernest Nister (1842-1909) specialized in colored toy and movable picture books. Operating in both Nuremberg and London in the 1890s, this entrepreneur developed a distinctive style firmly lodged within nineteenth-century aesthetics... Nister used a wide range of movable techniques to intrigue children" (University of Virginia Library, retrieved 28.06.19).

Library Hub cites just three locations among British and Irish institutional libraries (British Library, Scotland, Quarry Bank, a National Trust property at Styal, Cheshire); WorldCat adds another 11 worldwide.

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Quarto. Original green cloth-backed colour card boards, front board with colour illustration and title, light blue patterned endpapers.


Printed in brown, with 5 double-page battle scene pop-up colour plates, 5 full-page monochrome plates by Evelyn Stuart Hardy, and many in-text illustrations.


Contemporary gift inscription to front free endpaper, "Delia Follett, with best wishes for Xmas from Dick". Delia (1900-1964) was the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Spencer Follett CBE, 7th Dragoon Guards, of Rockbeare Manor, Devon. Light wear to extremities, a few closed tears to lower margins, gutters and tears sometime repaired, light finger-soiling; a very good copy.


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