<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions

Commonplace book.

England, circa 1830.
Physical Description:
1 v. (ca. 230 p.) : ill. ; 24 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
PN6245 .C66 1830
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
Bound in contemporary diced calf, with gilt edges and marbled endpapers.
Commonplace book, in a single hand, probably compiled by a young lady in early 19th century England. The notebook is amply illustrated throughout in various media, while the text features 18th century poetry, songs, and light-hearted word-play, puzzles, riddles, and comic pieces. The author is not indicated, but mention of St Leonard's and Ramsgate Pier suggests the possibility of a location near the south coast of England. Most of the pieces in the volume are undated, except near the end, where the dates 1815, 1822, and 1829 appear.
The texts are all copied short pieces, mostly 18th century English poetry, such as Edward Moore's "The trial of Sarah", Joseph Jekyll's "The tears of the cruets", and John Moultrie's "My brother's grave". There are frequent anagrams, riddles, number puzzles, and games throughout, including an illustrated chess board and problem, four small printed rebus cards pasted in, and an illustration of a magic flower, which would have been cut out of paper, with the petals opened to reveal secret answers. In another integration of text and image, there is a small circular diagram within which the complete text of the Lord's prayer and the Apostle's Creed are written in an extremely small script.
Illustrative methods are extremely varied, with sketches in graphite, pen and ink, watercolor, or monochrome wash, as well as nature printing, cut paper silhouettes, and a handful of printed engravings pasted in. Subjects of the illustrations are equally diverse, with many depictions of birds, butterflies, bugs, flowers, horses, and other wildlife, as well as landscapes, castles (such as Kenilworth), harbors, formal portraits (especially young ladies), and numerous humorous sketches or caricatures. Most of the illustrations have been drawn directly on the paper of the notebook, and full-page illustrations are about equal in number to pages with combined text and illustration.
Subject Terms:
English poetry -- 18th century.
Commonplace books.
Games -- Great Britain.
Recreations -- Great Britain.
Nature prints.
Botanical illustrations.
Humorous pictures.
Landscape drawings.
Marines (Visual works)
Ornithological illustrations.
Graphite drawings.
Ink drawings.
Wash drawings.

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.