Mixed Pickles c. 1895

Mixed Pickles
London, Paris & New York
19th century
color lithograph
Unrestored original condition
good, as found, book covers and interior pages, very small cover fragment saved and separate
14.625 × 7.5 × 0.125 inches
Sale Status: 

Mixed Pickles, an illustrated children's story book whose jar shaped cover shows wide eyed children's faces of those bottled in a pickle jar,  is a "novelty"  story book cut out in the shape of a pickle jar. The front cover shows the heads of the many children, the mixed pickles, inside the jar. The back cover is plain and contains only the book design No. 1071 and the publisher's information.  One author's name appears with the last story and that is R.K Mounsey. The awful confinement experienced by the children immediately grabs the viewer and these feelings are perhaps also a mirror for our times. The Rafael Tuck & Sons publications were distributed both in Europe and the United States.

The publisher, Raphael Tuck & Sons, was founded in 1866 by Raphael and Ernestine Tuck in Bishopsgate, London.  The company's first major publishing efforts were Christmas cards, a genre with which the company became identified. In 1883, Queen Victoria granted the company the Royal Warrant of Appointment, and all cards may be dated either before the date of this appointment or afterwards as indicated by the printing on each card. In London, Raphael Tuck and his large family retained their Jewish identity throughout the growth of their successful publishing venture first in the development of the genre of Christmas cards.1/ The company expanded to post cards. It marketed its post cards with annual design contests beginning in 1880. By 1882 the company had opened a Paris office and by 1885 a New York office. Raphael House in London was a landmark building, completed and opened in 1899.  Tragically, the Nazi bombing in WWII destroyed Raphael House, all of the original art work, postcards, children's books, poetry, paper dolls and publishing output.

The New York publishing branch opened in 1895. This New York branch was a major post card and design publisher, including children's books. The Mixed Pickles edition on offer has printed on its cover "Designed in England - printed in Germany" and most likely would have been distributed and sold at the Raphael House as well as in the United States in New York. I do not know if this book was also printed in the United States. Examples of this book are scant - I have not located any example except by its title in a listing of the titles of Raphael Tuck and Sons. See, TuckDB Ephemera: A free database of antique ephemera published by Raphael Tuck & Sons. Dating of the Mixed Pickles is approximate and is an estimate based on its style, along with the prevalence of book titles published by Rafael Tuck & Sons in that era.


1.The biographical information gleaned about Rafael Tuck describes his youth and early adult life as the product of an Orthodox Jewish education and his studies as a Jewish scholar. Perhaps those are one and the same. From this family background, he felt unconstrained to establish a printing firm and engage full time at building this business. The family had seven children, and the "& Sons" portion of the business name on this book refers to several of Rafael and Ernestine Tuck's sons who entered the family publishing business.

Item Type Taxonomy: 
Geographic Scope: 
The Back Room
Published Location Freeform: 
London, Paris & New York