The Acquisitions Table: Costume Plates from Norway

Bufford, J.H. Vinter dragt [i.e. drakt] fra Karasjok i Finmarken and Dragter [i.e. Drakter] fra Hitterdal i Tellemarken. Costume plates from Norway Illustrated. New York: Arthur Gilbert & Co., 1872.

PlateAAS holds an uneven medley of the pieces that made up an ambitious 1872 printing called Norway Illustrated. The set was to be issued by New York publisher Arthur Gilbert & Co. in eighteen parts, each with four black and white lithographed views of the Nordic landscape and one color costume plate. The publication was copied directly from C. Tønsberg’s, Norge fremstillet i Tegninger med oplysende (Oslo, 1848). The U.S. re-publication was apparently not very successful as only three partial sets are recorded (AAS, University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin). In fact it is unlikely that all eighteen parts were ever issued. When the Society’s set was cataloged in 2009, we found that we had the first part as issued with text, and eighteen additional landscape sheets from later sets. Unfortunately we had no examples of the color-lithographed costume plates. Recently, however, AAS visual materials cataloger Christine Graham-Ward located five of the costume plates online by searching for the publisher and printer’s names. This discovery indicates that at the very least at least five parts of Norway Illustrated were probably issued.

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