Ireland, Female Education; Possible Royal Presentation Copy. Simple Direction in Needle-Work and Cutting Out; Intended for the use of the National Female Schools of Ireland. To which are added, Specimens of Works Executed by the Pupils of The National Model Female School [i.e. the Quaker-established Kildare Academy/Kildare Place Society], ? a royal presentation copy for Queen Victoria, Dublin: Published by Direction of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, et al., 1846, , 6-84pp, 85-106ff (Specimens), first part (i.e. text) signatures collating: ¶², B-L⁴, the paginated and unpaginated interleaved green printed specimen leaves 'illustrated' with 60 cotton, linen, wool, lace, further needlework, and printed textiles, comprising samplers, frocks and dresses, hosiery, patchwork, etc., all of which are prefaced by an extra-illustrated silkwork leaf embroidered with the message: The Queen Reigns In the Hearts of Her People Aug. 1849, the cresting and apron embroidered in gilt threads with a royal crown and the Irish harp or clarsach, within a meandering green shamrock border, finely bound in contemporary purple morocco over boards, somewhat bowed, the upper-cover blocked in gilt and centred by the VR cypher within an unlettered garter and crested by St Edwards Crown, each cover outlined with a blind double-fillet border, the white paper printed leaves with all edges gilt, gilt-rolled anthemion dentelles, marbled endpapers, 4to
There are several tantalising indications that this finely bound copy of a usually more restrained volume, two of which have been sold in these rooms before (a c. 1836 edition, July 2022, & the 1853 edition, January 2023), might have been a copy presented to Queen Victoria during her 1849 visit to Ireland. As well as the dated needlework samplers corresponding to the imprint date, i.e. 1849, the extra-illustrated sampler, with its eulogy addressed to the sovereign, is not called for and its uniqueness hints at presentation. The fine binding, again uncommon on such a practical book, strongly indicates a presentation copy. The University of Toronto's database British Armorial Bindings show only one further example of this supralibros, Victoria Stamp 9, on an 1851 Dublin imprint now in the Penes Philip Maddock library.
Provenance: the collection of Sally Tuffin (b. 1938), "Youthquake" fashion designer of the eponymous Foale and Tuffin.