GUNDRY, John (c.1818-1875). Specimens of Penmanship from Gundry's Business College Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. (cover title). [Cincinnati: 1873].

Spectacular and unique sample book, a true tour-de-force for American calligraphy and typography in the 1870s. This extraordinary album was made for display at the 1873 Vienna International Exhibition. It certainly has a carnival feel to it, with bold colors and extravagant large wood type broadsides in addition to the calligraphy. Besides being an advertisement for Gundry's Business College each design also advertising his inks, described as: "Gundry's Carbon Ink," "Gundry's White Fluid Ink," "Gundry's Silver Fluid Ink," and "Gundry's Gold Fluid Ink". The cover design features a central wood-engraved view of the College at the corner of Fifth and Walnut in Cincinnati, by James Thomson.

Broadsheet folio (635 x 530 mm). Comprises 22 full page calligraphic designs in black, white and metallic inks on bright blue (13), black (7) and white (2) grounds, one of which incorporates an albumen portrait of Gundry; 41 smaller designs arranged on three sheets; mounted engraved diploma for the College (browned); interleaves wity multiple copies of a large, illustrated broadside advertising the College; a 4-page leaflet, repeated. (Scattered creasing and a few tears, scattered spots). Original half red roan gilt over pictorial boards lettered in gilt on both covers, the inside covers repeated the design but on pink glazed paper (mild rubbing/soiling, text block starting to detach).

Exhibited: Vienna International Exhibition. See Report of the Commissioners of the United States to the International Exhibition Held at Vienna (Washington, 1876), item no. 636 within Group 26 (Education, Teaching and Instruction) of the United States section.
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