[Attributed to R.S. GILBERT, or Alexander ANDERSON, wood-block cutters].
An original end-grain wood printing block of a Federal Eagle (a larger version of the block used on the upper cover of “M’Carty’s American Primer.” [see below], with shield, and clasping a bunch of arrows and an olive branch. [?Philadelphia: circa 1828]. The block is irregularly shaped (approx. 3 ½ x 4 x 1 3/8ins; 88 x 102 x 35mm), two of the vertical surfaces appear to retain some of the original bark.
The attribution to R.S. Gilbert (of Philadelphia) is made on the strength of the signed illustrations in the text of the ‘Primer’ [see below]. The previous owner (a long-time collector) was convinced that it is the work of Alexander Anderson.
M’Carty’s American Primer. Being a selection of words the most easy of pronunciation. Intended to facilitate the improvement to children in spelling. Philadelphia: published and sold by M’Carty & Davis (successors to the late Benjamin Warner), [no date but c. 1828]. 16mo (5 ½ x 3 ½ inches). 36pp. 26 vignette woodcuts, the last five signed ‘Gilbert’. Original wrappers, federal-eagle vignette on the upper cover.
Probably a Rosenbach ‘remainder’.
Amer. Imprints 33941; Rosenbach Early American Childrens’ Books 714; Heartman Non-New England Primers 96.