An unlisted Joseph Mansell Reward Card set

1) The full set of 12 cards and wrapper 2) The wrapper - ‘Illustrated Tales for the Young' 3) A sepia pull from the full sheet of 16 images that these prints come from 4 - 15) Each individual card 16) The two different colour cards of 'The Rainbow' 17) 'The Departure' not included in my wrapper but obviously still part of the set

The excellent New Baxter Society CD of Mansell prints, which has recently been superseded by the Society’s website listing of Mansell prints, currently lists five sets of Reward cards and two cards from an ‘unidentified set’.

A recent purchase means I can now advise that these unidentified cards are from the ‘Illustrated Tales for the Young’. The wrapper goes on to say ‘a six penny packet of reward cards published by Josh Mansell London’.

These reward cards were intended for, perhaps, good behaviour or attendance, most probably at Sunday Schools. In the packet I acquired each card has a fancy border printed in either green, blue or burgundy along with a title and a pertinent rhyming poem, a Mansell print is mounted on each.

All the prints in this set of 12 cards came from a sheet of 16 prints called ‘sheet 26’, which I illustrate as a sepia pull from the plate, the prints are NBS No’s 250 to 265 inclusive.

Although there are 16 prints on the sheet my wrapper must be complete with 12 cards. 10 or 12 appears to be normal for other sets even though, like this set, those prints also come from sheets of a larger number.

Coincidentally the two images from the ‘identified set’ on the website are also mine. One of those was ‘The Rainbow’, a card that was also in my set, but that one is on a red card rather than blue which goes to show the card colours are most probably random. The other card on the website is ‘The Departure’ which is also from the same sheet but not included in my set. As with other sets it is most probably that all 16 prints were used on these cards which were then randomly chosen, 12 at a time, to go into the wrapper. ‘The Departure’ is on grey printed card showing a fourth colour, of which there could be more.

Unlike Baxter Mansell, together with other printers, didn’t always give the print a title on the printing plate so when these Mansell prints were first catalogued for the CD Rom a name was attributed. The titles on the cards all correspond to what the print depicts so it is good to find out what Mansell thought their titles should be.

Only The Rainbow’s attributed name is correct, the NBS No’s and their attributed names are shown below along with Mansell’s titles in brackets.

250 - The Poorly Child (The Fireside Story)
251 - Musical Evening (Family Music)
252 - A Kind Visitor (The Return)
253 - The Blessing (Grandfathers' Blessing)
254 - Bedtime (A Mother's Advice)
257 - The Reading (Family Prayer)
258 - The Angel (The Dream)
259 - The Rainbow (The Rainbow)
261 - The Stile (Going to School)
262 - Sunday Morning (Going to Church)
263 - At the Graveside (The Mothers Grave)
264 - Travellers Refreshments (Charity)

Perhaps we should consider amending the attributed name or at least adding the name Joseph Mansell gave them when they were printed.