Victorian-Era Shape Books

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Dolly’s Party and What Came After

Author: Grace C. Floyd
Publisher: Raphael Tuck & Sons, London
Circa 1895

Written by Grace C. Floyd, this children’s verse relates the tale of Ethel, her doll Arabella, and her pet bird Jack. When Jack playfully carries off the bright and colorful doll, hiding it in the chimney, Ethel becomes distressed. But all is well once Arabella is discovered hidden in the chimney.

Raphael Tuck & Sons was best known for their postcards, greeting cards, paper dolls and children’s books. Raphael Tuck emigrated to England from his native Germany in 1865. The following year he opened a shop selling picture frames and chromolithographs, which were printed mostly in Germany. By 1870 Tuck’s sons joined him in business; their focus shifted more to the import and publication of printed paper products. Raphael Tuck retired in the early 1880s and his son Adolph took over the company. The company was awarded its first Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1893. By the end of the decade, Raphael Tuck & Sons had become a major publisher of postcards, greeting cards, paper dolls, children’s books, and calendars.┬áThe company’s distinctive logo featured an artist’s easel and palette.

The records, original paintings and postcards, and records of Raphael Tuck & Sons were destroyed by the German bombing of London on the night of December 29, 1940. The firm continued in business throughout the Second World War and after, with a Tuck family member active in the business until 1959. In 1962 Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd. was acquired by Purnell & Sons; in 1965 the firms became members of the British Printing Corporation.