Item #23679 Alphabet and Phonetic Horn Book. Horn Book.
Alphabet and Phonetic Horn Book

Alphabet and Phonetic Horn Book

(Horn Book)

London: Wesleyan Conference Office, ca. 1836. Poor. Item #23679

Wooden paddle approximates 6½ by 3 inches, and probably made of Sitka spruce onto which is pasted a printed alphabet (on one side) and a list of words grouped phonetically (on the other). The printed paper is well worn and lacks edges affecting some letters which have been inserted directly on the wood by hand. The wear attests to the use given to this scarce


Horn books are not books at all but paddles produced to teach children the alphabet and some words. Early examples had a piece of translucent horn covering the printed label, hence the name. One of the words on this paddle is 'pox', a reference to smallpox and a common cause of death until the introduction of a vaccine near the end of the 18th century. Horn books were replaced by battledores then, by the end of the nineteenth century, disappeared forever.


Sitka spruce was introduced into England in 1831 and quickly became commonly used.

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Price: $750.00

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