[CIVIL WAR]. Union and Patriotic Album Illustrated Envelope Holder. Boston: J. M. Whittemore & Co., 1861.

$ 9,000.00

8vo.,  (6 2/8 x 4 2/8 inches). Accordion-style album containing 58 envelope covers, some printed in colours, almost all pro-Union (some leaves missing, few covers a bit dusty). Original pictorial glazed white paper boards (very worn and detached).

Publication of Civil War envelopes began "as early as the mid-1850's, when north-south divisions began to take shape, but ended prior to the war's conclusion because most believed that it was too indulgent and expensive to continue production in a time of war. These Civil War envelopes, some of which have been called early versions of pictorial postcards, were very popular with collectors of patriotic propaganda. The subjects illustrated on these envelopes varied from the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy, to caricatures of important war heroes. Though popular with collectors, these envelopes are a very underutilized source of Civil War iconography. The majority of the envelopes are about 3 x 5" in size, and were published in nearly all of the major cities, with New York and Boston being the largest producers. They were first created for use in the mail, as the production of envelopes became faster and easier. In the Confederacy, paper had become scarce during the war, which prompted Southerners to turn to reusing wallpaper and book pages to create envelopes, as well as turn envelopes inside out to reuse them" (American Antiquarian Society online). Catalogued by Kate Hunter