Use of Kronheim sheets discovered
Some years ago I acquired two sheets of Kronheim prints, not the regularly seen ‘New Hall Vault’ sheets but two sheets of four prints each with wording under. I presumed these must be intended as book illustrations but at the time I couldn’t find out any details.
Moving on a few years I was assisting Laura Carnelos, at that time, Collections Research Assistant at the University of Reading Department of Typography, to try to help identify a number of prints in their collection which included one of these sheets. The process, colour and style all inferred they were by Kronheim which was further confirmed by the way the sheets were numbered.
A couple of days later Laura emailed as, after some research, she had discovered that the quotes on her sheet were all from books by T S (Timothy Shaw) Arthur. I researched the prolific author and ascertained that the vast majority of his books were all published in Philadelphia but at least one edition was published by William Nicholson in the UK. I managed to locate two examples online of the actual prints being used in the books and it seems that the publisher, Nicholson, might be the connection.
Moving on again a short while and I was visiting Roger & Yvonne of the New Baxter Society and,
while viewing part of their extensive collection, came across these sheets and mentioned what Laura and myself had managed to find out. Roger disappeared for a few moments returning with an arm full of books all by T S Arthur and published by William Nicholson.
We now know the names of seven books that these prints would illustrate of which we have images of five of them.
The captions and book titles are as follows starting with fig 1 and going from the top left, clockwise:
Touch me not! I am already pledged to another - from The Hand but not the Heart; or the Long Trials of Jessie Loring
She opened her desk, and to his bewildered sight a pile of gold - from Orange Blossoms - fresh and faded
To do good my children, is to be happy - from Light on Shadowed Paths
She could not resist plucking the beautiful flowers by the wayside - from Golden Grains from Life’s Harvest Field
For the second sheet - Fig 2 - Deed, massa, Ise glad you come - no book found to confirm but the words come straight out of Arthur’s Twenty Years Ago and Now or The Allen House
Have I a right thus to dispose of myself? - From Helen Lee; or the Old Man’s Bride
If you have children, sir, pity mine! - no book found to confirm but the words come straight out of Arthur’s Steps Towards Heaven.
The Anxious Moment – This is the only caption that we couldn’t find a quote for in any of Arthur’s books but all the other captions are enclosed in speech marks inferring a quote but this caption does not have any and the words are in capitals inferring perhaps some event in the book rather than an actual quote. Roger was also able to give me a copy of an advert from one of the books showing eight titles all by Arthur, all our seven books are included and perhaps the eighth Out of this World would have had The Anxious Moment as it’s frontispiece like the others?
Roger also mentioned that he had found an advert in The Publishers Circle 1st February 1877 that listed all the eight titles by Arthur and published by Nicholson being “New works being published between January 18 to 31”
So in conclusion through the collaboration of minds we have ascertained why these two sheets were printed and how they were used, commissioned by the publishers William Nicholson of Wakefield and also Paternoster Square in London for use in a series of eight books by the American author T S Arthur published in 1877.
Can you supply images of the frontispieces and title page that we haven’t been able to trace?
Nicholson seems to have also published other books by T S Arthur but these may have been later and we don’t know if they have any coloured frontispieces – is there a third sheet that Kronheim prepared for Nicholson?
Moving on a year and I have identified another Kronheim sheet’s use. I first came across this sheet some 20 years ago and, in theory, it should have been easy to identify as it was obvious that it was printed for an edition of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, but could I find it?
After checking every possible volume of Pilgrim’s Progress that I came across on eBay and elsewhere I eventually managed to find the right one and, guess what, it is the same publisher as the T S Arthur books, William Nicholson & Sons.
Interestingly the plain cloth binding has a gilt title on the spine that states “Pilgrim’s Progress – Eight Kronheim Plates” so the publisher must have been proud to have them illustrate their volume.
The volume is not dated but, I feel, looking at the printing it would pre-date the T S Arthur books. Also, under the prints, the full sheet has, J M Kronheim & Co and London, whilst when used
in the book under the frontispiece is also printed “John Bunyan Born 1628 – Died 1688” and all the other plates have a quote and page reference under them very similar to the T S Arthur sheets.
This additional text has been printed after the event and, in my opinion, not very well. The printing is quite feint and in places hard to read. I can’t see that this text was printed by Kronheim, perhaps more likely the book printer?
Perhaps this was the first sheet Kronheim printed for Nicholson and after they had been delivered the publisher decided they wanted the extra text or quotes on their book illustrations. If that was the case and they wanted that on future publications they would have instructed Kronheim accordingly and any additional text would have been printed at the time as per the T S Arthur sheets.
At the end of the book is a few pages of lists of books published by Nicholson. This further confirms the earlier date of perhaps 1860’s to early 1870’s as none of the T S Arthur books are listed. It does actually list three editions of Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress, my edition and then two cheaper versions with just “coloured frontispiece by Kronheim”. I have subsequentially seen one of these 'cheaper' editions and the frontispice is Kronheim's portratit of Bunyan from this sheet.