Chromolithographed Illuminated Plates and Prayers
The Child's Illuminated Prayer-Book. A First Book of Prayers for Children.
London: William Smith, 1845. (BRB0476)
Intended for young children, this illustrated prayer book includes nine chromolithographed plates with each prayer “illuminated” within colorful decorated borders. The plates include texts for the Lord’s Prayer (on display), the Apostles’ Creed, morning prayer and evening prayer, grace before meals and grace after meals, prayer for sick friends and prayer for absent friends, the Ten Commandments [comprising two plates], the morning hymn, and the evening hymn.
The purpose of the work, as noted in the preface, “is to place before children those prayers, hymns, &c. which it is necessary for every young child to learn as the first early lessons in religion, in a form which, by the prettiness and adaptiveness of the illustrations, may at once tend to interest the child in the learning of the prayers, and at the same time to refine the mind in teaching its first lesson in taste.” The publisher contrasts these colorful and relatively refined illustrations with “such coarse and unmeaning illustrations as are generally found in early children’s books.” To assist in this educational process, a “descriptive index for the children” with explanations for each plate is also included.