Cincinnati: Printed by Robert Clarke & Co., 1877. First Edition. Large 8vo. 10 leaves; 7 mounted original photographs dated 1876 on heavy card stock, each with a page of text with Shakespeare’s quotable “age” printed on the facing page, showing a man from infancy to old age. Of note, is the photograph of the solder... this being James Landy, the photographer himself. Publisher's brown cloth with gilt lettering & illustration to front cover; all edges gilt; brown endpapers. Wear to extremities; bump to lower front edge; else a near fine copy. Item #20163
The “seven ages” of man penned by William Shakespeare in As You Like It became a popular theme in the 19th century when there was a virtual mania for anything about the bard. There were various literary takes on the subject as well as paintings, tableaus and photographic interpretations. One of the most celebrated sets of pictures were those staged by Cincinnati photographer James Landy in 1876. He created them for showing at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia that year, presenting them in three formats: a set of small cabinet cards, or cartes de visites, a set of large prints, and as a book with tipped-in photographs, published in Cincinnati the next year by the Robert Clarke Publishing Company. Landy's photographs won awards in art competitions in Chicago, Paris, New York, Vienna and London.