San Francisco: H. S. Crocker, ca. 1885-1888. 1st. Paperback. 12" x 19" Uncut sheet of paper dolls of various sizes depicting a variety of activities, food items, and a kitchen table and stove. Full color lithograph illustrations. Edges neat and clean with minor wear; short closed tears & creasings; minor foxing. Very good. A scarce example of an early promotional piece with all components intact. No copies recorded in institutional holdings. Item #16414
There are twenty-four figures, five animals, and various images of baked goods, furniture, stoves, and kitchenware. There are two men dressed as clowns, sharing the burden of a heavy Sperry's Flour sack; well-dressed and well-behaved children sitting on chairs, which can be cut out and stood up around a table; and different cakes, buns, breads, and pies which can be cut out and arranged on the table, perhaps on one of the decorated plates next to the tea set. Additional figures show men transporting Sperry's Flour on sleighs and two black men who appear to be having a comical fighting match with Sperry flour bags. The advertisement instructs us: "Busy Work for Little Fingers. Cut the figures out but leave the squares at the bottom to fold under for the figurines to stand upon." Sperry Flour Co. (founded 1856) became the 2nd largest flour milling company in California. This piece was lithographed in California by H. S. Crocker, which purchased the first off-set lithography press to be manufactured in the U.S. (now at the Smithsonian).