Of Merit by Patricia Fenn & Alfred P. Malpa
Rewards of Merit, Tokens of a Child's Progress and a Teacher's
Esteem as an Enduring Aspect of American Religious and Secular Education.
Published by The Ephemera Society of America,1994. Oblong 8vo.,
cloth, dust jacket. 224 pages. First edition.
This magnificently produced book is the first ever published about
"Rewards of Merit," printed cards, certificates and engraved medals
that school teachers gave their students for success in scholarship
and good behavior. Though a majority of these ephemera were machine-printed,
many were also painstakingly illustrated and colored by hand. These
pieces demonstrate the art of American printing, typefaces, graphic
arts and illustration in every aspect of their production.
photographed in full-color, these certificates of achievement reflect
almost 500 examples of from 19th-century and Victorian engraving,
calligraphy, printing, illustration and folk-art through turn-of-the-century
graphics. Rewards of Merit also brings 250 years of the American
school experience to life through these documents, reflecting attitudes
toward religion, education and achievement, values that were strongly
stressed to young Americans.
The ephemera illustrated include many reproductions from the Gardiner/Malpa
Collection of Rewards of Merit and School of Ephemera and photographs
of over 70 medals from the John Sallay Collection of School Medals.
Rewards of Merit also includes a directory of booksellers,
engravers, printers, publishers, stationers and related tradesmen,
useful to those doing research in the book arts field.
A beautiful book with extraordinary variety, rich color and detail
for Victorian ephemera, printing, engraving, illustration and children's
book enthusiasts. Available from your local bookseller.