Some of the beautiful and intriguing items in our collection are little autograph books and small, decorative boxes containing loose leaf poems and personal dedications. They represent a centuries-old German tradition of the Album Amicorum (book of friends), also called Stammbuch or, more recently, Poesiealbum.
Book of friends were usually circulated at a time of parting and served the bearer not only as a sentimental remembrance but as a collection of references by association in his pursuit of a professional or social career. Inscriptions were personal, yet frequently included literary quotes, showing the writer’s social and intellectual standing. The messages emphasized values such as intellectual and political freedom, hard work, honesty, forthrightness, self-reliance, and friendship. Good wishes for happiness, health, good fortune, and prosperity were always included. These books were testaments to the values of the Biedermeier age (friendship, loyalty, family ties, domesticity, religious piety) and were passed around by women as well as men.
61 personal dedications from the years 1830-1838, 2 pencil drawings, 2 little pressed flowers, gilt edge, red cover with gold embossing. Size: 4 1/8” x 6 7/8”. Very good condition with slight signs of wear.