You'll find linen, felt and muslin books here, also called "rag books". Early cloth books were often made of linen, which takes a fine illustration, sometimes this cloth was glued onto paper to make the page. Later cloth books were usually muslin with pinked edges. Technically, the real cloth ones could be washed, but washing removes the sizing and makes them very limp. (It is possible to iron them though.) We also include a few paper Linenette books and some Japanese crepe paper books.

/anon, illustrator.

Simply beautiful large chromolithos of animals set in landscapes, showing 1+1 through 9+1 and then doubling to 5.

New York: McLoughlin, (1909); full coloured chromolitho pages "Mounted on Linen", as opposed to printed on linen, front cover showing a dog sitting on a doorstep watching kittens who are lapping spilled milk; 14 interior pages; 9.75x12.25".
CONDITION: Fair; very worn and chipped on all edges, corners very bent, covers quite dark , narrow interior margins dark, but pictures are bright, scribbles on two center pages affect illustration. An uncommon book, but just about ready to break, I'm afraid.
Little ABC Book.
ABC (anon)

Sweet pictures of the little girl on the front, with what appear to be older stock woodcuts to illustrate the letters. NOTE: This book has been sold.

New York: McLoughlin Bros. (1884), publication data is on the very bottom edge; three folded linen sheets making ten interior pages, coloured Arts and Crafts inspired design on front and back with little girl reading and playing with her doll, red letters, three to a page, with woodcuts of daily objects, 4"x5.75".
CONDITION: Good Minus; cover faded, corners deeply creased, slightly frayed, small stains and foxing throughout, rusted staples, pencil line on one spread, and child has converted number line 0 to 10, still the covers are adequate and the interior red letters bright.
Little Pets Linen ABC.
ABC (anon).
/anon, illustrator.

A first primer, with three examples of each initial letter sound in the small pictures "Quaker, Quail, Quiver" and CVC words and sentences to practice on, ending with a simple story. The front cover gives an interesting message about the value of learning to read!

New York, McLoughlin Bros., no date, (c. mid 1880's?), no number or series, 3 folded sheets making ten interior pages, front cover with young child and baby pulling on a book, another book already destroyed on the floor, and, on the back cover, a rather bizarre scene with a blonde man in Japanese costume holding a little girl in a trailing dress, the four interior alphabet pages are full colour very bright chromos perhaps inspired by earlier woodcuts, the other pages are the primer's text; on fine linen cut on straight of goods; 5.75"x8.25".
CONDITION: Good; faded, flecked front cover, small pencil initials on back and number on front corner, top corners are bent but not creased, no fraying, interior coloured pictures very bright.
Little Playmates ABC
ABC. (anon.)
/anon, illustrator.

The children in the black and white pictures with plain graphics ride bicycles and wear short, plain dresses; the coloured pictures look more like romantic Victorian productions, perhaps from Valentine stock, with lutes and sheep with ribbons and bells. A lovely full colour portrait on the cover of a boy in knickers peering through a knothole attended by his patient dog. is on the front cover, a funny child dressed as a man reading a newspaper is on the back. All in all a nice collection of stock illustrations.

Springfield, Mass USA: McLoughlin Bros., Inc. c.1900; glazed linen, 3 sheets forming 10 interior pages; coloured paintings outside; inside, contemporary black and white spreads alternate with full coloured, decorated "old-fashioned" spreads; large 10.25x7".
CONDITION: Good Minus; no longer folds evenly, very lightly frayed (1/32"), corners creased throughout book, quite darkened with a few small stains, some flecking on margins.
The Cow Picture Book. anon. New York: McLoughlin Bros. Inc., #1314, no date. ca
anon, illustrator.

A serious cow on the cover: Mostly about Guernsey and Holstein cows, with some sheep and goats. Pictures are from the turn of the century, not in World Cat and scarce.

New York: McLoughlin Bros. Inc., #1314, no date; three very stiff fine glazed linen sheets, folded and center stapled, making 12 pages; full colour on outside with painting of cow, 4 interior paintings, 4 drawings, 7.2x10.2.
CONDITION: Near Fine, no names, a very faint crease on bottom corner.
Farmyard Book. Dean's Rag Book #282.
/Albert Ernest Kennedy, illustrator (not credited)

Sweet paintings by a Dean's artist, AE Kennedy, whose animals are particularly full of personality: two ducks, a St. Bernard puppy, two robins, two guinea pigs and a carrot, a wistful cow, and two lambkins.

London: Dean's Rag Book, #282, no date [1930]; blue cloth covers with pinked edges, very cute terrier holding the reins of a tiny pony on front, cat and her ball in back, two doubled leaves sewn down, making six interior pages; 6x7.8".
CONDITION: Very Good; blue covers with one spot and grass faded but figures bright; sized and probably never washed, interior bright white and clean.
Tots' Toys Dean's Rag Book #356.

Toy pictures in bright primary colours in a cute little book.

Dean's Rag Book #356 /Platt & Munk, cloth, 4x5.25".
CONDITION: Very Good; no names, clean and bright, appears unwashed, one small spotted area showing on back and elephant.
Puff! Puff! Dean's Rag Book 1905. [in print 1904 - 1910]
/Barton, Frank Matthews (cover) and Jessie Aitcheson, illustrators (not credited)

Interesting pictures: A Snowed Up Train in Canada. New Zealand, One of the First Engines, One of the Latest Cars; an electric railway; a mountain railway and airship, Off for a Spin in the Motor, an African Train; Cleaning the Signal Lamp.

London: Dean's Rag Book Co Ltd, Patented March 7, 1905, 20 registered, Dean's Rag Books Patented; grey cloth covers with all-around landscape of children watching a long train, pinked edges; six doubled leaves sewn down with covers and red backstrip, making fourteen interior pages; 6.5x9.25".
CONDITION: Very Good; spine ends a little frayed, covers crisp and bright with slightly curled top edge, 1/8" spot, inside bright and appears unwashed.
Favourites. (Dean's Rag Books 6325/1)

A dog, a goat, a duckling, a goose, a horse, and two guinea pigs, all with farmland backgrounds. Just right!

Gt. Britain: Dean's Rag Books, A BabySafe book, #6325/1; cloth, doubled cloth exterior with one double cloth leaf sewn in forming four interior pages, cover with little terrier and blue ball on front and two guinea pigs and a carrot on the back, blue spine; 4.75x5.2".
CONDITION: Very Good Plus, pinking and cloth crisp, possibly a faint waterstain on bottom edge, hard to tell, otherwise as new.
Birds and Animals. McLoughlin, 1920's.

A beautiful big book, with what I would assume are older chromolithos inside, a bit fainter than the birds on the cover. The sepia pictures are very nice, all by the same anonymous artist. This large book is constructed with half folio sheets glued together, rather than folded sheets.

Springfield, Mass: McLoughlin Bros. Inc, no MB, thus 1920-1929, yellow glazed paper mounted on linen with gorgeous red and green parrots and red titles, colourful pheasant-like birds on the back, four large chromolithos, a rooster, a cow, a donkey, and a dog (Newfoundland), on the reverse "linen" side sepia pictures and little poems, 10x12.
CONDITION: Good; no names or other marks, spine cloth worn away to net, staples tight, edges quite lightly frayed all around (could be trimmed), binding firm, covers have little creases but are brilliant, interior bright. Note: Because of the size of this book, I photographed each side of the spread separately and added a blue border.
Dog Toby by Bingham.
Clifton Bingham.
/Berkeley, Stanley and Eugenie Richards, illustrator.

An autobiography in poetic form of a very curious dog, with a different Chapter on every page following him through his happy life. All pages are illustrated with large drawings in red, blue, yellow, green, and brown in a quality similar to a hardcover book, rather than a cloth book. Toby seems to be a smooth fox terrier, and in one of his adventures, wins first prize in a dog show.

London: Dean's Rag Book Co., #47, patented in U. S. A. March 7, 1905; deep red cloth covers with Toby sitting on a stool for his little Mistress, 22 pages of doubled cloth including covers; large 9"x11" size.
CONDITION: Very Good; fabric darkening espec. on covers, edges quite darkened, a few spots here and there but generally not stained or foxed, no writing, edges very lightly frayed, first pages lightly wrinkled, corners and spine flat, sizing present, not washed; interior colour bright. Jpgs show either less wrinkling to the front than the actual book or more; reality is somewhere in between.
Tom, Tom the Piper's Son.  (Hurlbut, Carl, felt book)
Mother Goose. (Hurlbut, Carl].)
/Carl Hurlbut, illustrator.

Such an amazing idea! The thin, fine felt takes the print quite clearly and makes a nice light little book, if a bit dull on the cover. Ten nursery rhymes with lively illustrations.

Akron, Ohio: Kohler & Co, no date, co by S. H. Kohler; cover with Tom piping to lamb dancing in a grey pasture with blue sky and clouds, on the back in a cartouche, a toy lamb with Kohler's Felt Toy Books, "The Original Felt Books; three sheets of felt sewn together making ten interior pages; 4.8x6.8"; np.
CONDITION: Very Good; felt on all pages has probably darkened esp front, a trace of the 3/8" spot on first two pages is visible on front, tiny nick on back to white, edges dark, sewing very tight (recessed because this is felt), no tears, creases, or thinning.
20178 Toys At Play by Reid photos by Waite. Marshall Fields.
Reid, Carol McMillan.
/George L. Waite photographer.

It's 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression. As the Children drowsily wait for their mother to finish shopping, they think about what they want for Christmas, and the toys in Marshall Fields begin to come alive. There must be about 50 dolls and toys in this books, all caught by the photographer in the midst of their play. Very bright colours. Sturdy enough for a modern child, of interest to a toy and doll collector.

Racine, WI; Whitman Publishing Company, (1937); Toys and Settings by Courtesy of Marshall Field & Company, linenette type cover and pages, many many toys, 14 interior pages; 10.2x12.2".
CONDITION: Very Good; white areas darkened on covers, rubs on spine, slight curls at corners, half inch tear on back, faded area upper back.
Talbot, E.
/E. Larcombe, illustrator.

Turn of the century children go through the day from 7 AM to 6 PM in rhyme.

London: Dean's Rag Book Co. Ltd, no date, no number on bulldogs; "Entirely British Manufacture"; blue cloth covers with pinked edges, doubled pages, one signature with an inserted page sewed down, thus eight interior pages; 6x8".
CONDITION: Very Good; no names, light pencil numerals in candle on back, a few spots, in blue covers, especially faded on the back near spine but with the illustration bright, pages still stiff, white, and clean, darkening near corners.
My Indestructible Pet Book by Uncle Herbert.
Uncle Herbert.
.Play book cloth (softcover)

Each page has a large print primer story.
"Do you see this dog with a bell?
He must be a very nice dog to ring the bell all alone.
I hope the maid will let him in.."
The fine linen allows for detail in the woodcuts. An early and interesting cloth book.

New York: J. B. Lippincott & Co, (1881); on the front little girl with glasses seated at a table with her doll, examining (an insect cage?), on white heavily sized cloth with black print, 4 folded sheets making 14 interior pages; 5.8x7.75.
CONDITION: Repaired to Good Plus state; sloppy modern re-sewing of binding has been removed, pages aligned and hand tacked inconspicuously, 19th c names, "Elmer Hawkin's Book", two small numbers near title, ow flawed by lightly frayed top edge and curled bottom corners, light soil.