I went to a flea market Saturday morning and was drawn to this wooden object.
The dealer who sold it to me didn't have a clue as to it's country of origin
nor it's function.
Several of the dealers thought it was used for printing and one dealer
said it was an Islamic seal for documents.
The dimensions are 3 1/2 inches high by 4 1/2 inches high and it is 1 inch thick
Your help is always appreciated.What is it?
|THE MYSTERY OBJECT|
The early 19th century American Bookplate shown below was sent to me by Tom Boss
Robert E. Hornor of Princeton, New Jersey was a printer/ publisher who was very
active in Whig politics. Some biographical information has been copied below.
Early Princeton Printing BY VARNUM LANSING COLLINS
"Robert Emley Hornor was a lineal de- scendant of John Hornor, the early set- tler whose public spirit assisted in locat- ing the College of New Jersey at Prince- ton. Controlling a tannery and a pottery manufactory at Queenston, on the out- skirts of Princeton, he seems to have been possessed of some little means. In Sep- tember 1832 he had established in oppo- sition to Connolly's Democratic Courier, which supported Jackson and Van Buren, a paper called the "American System and Farmers' and Mechanics' Advocate," sup- porting the protection of American indus- tries and the election of the National Re- publican, or Whig, candidates. Clay and Sergeant. After the campaign he assumed the editorship himself and a new firm, that of John T. Robinson, took charge of the mechanical end. The name of the paper was changed to the "Princeton Whig" and from this period dates the present weekly newspaper, the "Princeton Press" edited by Mr. Edwin M. Norris. Mr. Hornor's Quaker affiliation is shown in the imprint of his paper — "published every sixth- day." A new spirit enters Princeton journal- ism with Mr. Hornor's assumption of edi- torial duties. Never did a paper deserve its name more thoroughly than the "Whig" during Mr. Hornor's regime. He was an eager partisan and one of the most active and widely known politicians in the state. He seems to have thoroughly enjoyed him- self as an editor. Not content with the influence exerted by his weekly, when election times came around he was wont to do extra work for his party by issuing special campaign papers, such as the "Thorn" in the autumn of 1834 — an aptly named little two leaf sheet, which was sold for a cent and was issued at least once a week until the campaign was over. That its contents came practically from his own pen is naively revealed by a note in the only surviving number (September 27, 1834) to the effect that the "severe indisposition of the Editor must be an apology for the want of interest or variety in the columns of this week's paper." But the "Thorn" so successfully justified its name and met with such approval from friends of the Whig cause, that two years later Mr. Hornor renewed it to counter- act what he was pleased to call the "ser- vile collar press of the Van Buren dyn- asty." To those who remembered the "Thorn" of 1834 he would merely an- nounce that the new "Thorn" was grown SO on the same stalk — "only a trifle sharper and stronger/' Its object would be to "place information in every man's hand at so cheap a rate that all may read and know the extravagant expenditure and abuses of Van Buren and his satellites." And with cheerful confidence in his ability to secure subscribers, he asks that all who are opposed to Van Buren will send him their names at once so that he mav know how many thousand copies of the paper he may start with. The "Thorn" had not been without ef- fect on the college campus. All things are possible in politics, and the marvel in this case was that the "Thorn" apparentlj'^ be- gat the "Thistle," a manuscript news- paper made up of political satire, and circulated, says one of its undergraduate editors in his reminiscences, "by the aid of the long entries of Nassau Hall and the small hours of the night." The success of the "Thistle" led to a more ambitious effort, and in the winter of 1834-35 four or five numbers of a small eight page quarto called the "Chameleon," edited by members of the class of 1835, were is- sued from the local press. The only re- mains of the "Chameleon** seem to be a fragrant memory and an "Extra/* pub- lished in August^ 1835^ consisting of a long poem on a galley-slip, announcing its demise. With the passing of this effort, undergraduate literary activity, so far as publication is concerned, ceased until, in 1840, John Bogart*s press issued the "Gem from Nassau's Casket,** a daintily printed little octavo magazine of four double col- umn pages, purely literary and serious in character. The "Gem** gleamed more or less serenely for a very brief day, and then ' joined the defunct "Chameleon. On Mr. Bogart's death Mr. Hornor en- joyed a practical monopoly; but, while his imprint occurs on many a pamphlet of the early forties, most of his attention was given to politics and the "Princeton Whig. One product of his press, however, the "Nassau Monthly, whose first number came out in February 1842, the unmistak- able and robuster offspring of the "Gem, cannot be ignored, even in this scant sur- vey. By no means so engaging in appear- ance as its parent, it nevertheless had the elusive quality of permanence that the ear- lier periodical lacked. The "Nassau Mon- thly/' re-baptised as the "Nassau Liter- ary Magazine/' has never been conspicu- ous for beauty on the formal side, and is not comparable with the "Gem" in looks. But it has lived seventy years and, with the exception of the "Yale Literary Maga- zine/' is the oldest undergraduate publi- cation of its kind in the country. The campaign of 1844 gave Mr. Hornor another rare opportunity, of which he made the utmost by issuing a lively four- page quarto of three columns to the page, called the "Jersey Blue," a name the edi- tor may or may not have known as the title of a rollicking eighteenth century Princeton song. It was, as might be ex- pected, devoted to the Whig cause and was intended to bear especially on the state elections of that autumn, and when they were over to aid the election of Clay and Frelinghuysen. The opening number made this announcement of policy:
"It will be fearless in advocating that which is considered right. While it will concede to all men and all monopolies their rights and privileges, it will by no means allow itself to swerve from an independ- ent and dignified bearing. It will deal with the rich as with the poor. The sov- ereignty of the people will be defended rather than the sovereignty of particular individuals or families. All party excess will be discouraged, while true patriotic zeal will be incited. Who will help us ? Supporting Charles C. Stratton for Gov- ernor, the "Jersey Blue" attacked with all its might — and Mr. Hornor had not mis- laid the *' Thorn's" pointed pen — the can- Carver. didacy of John R. Thomson of Princeton^ turning to good political account his con- nection with the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company, and at the same time it fired broadsides at Captain — slater Commo- dore — R. F. Stockton, the leader of the Loco Foco party in the State, finding in his naval and political record and in his connection with the ill-fated gunboat "Princeton" plenty of campaign ammuni- tion. "Speaking of Princeton, I was re-reading Bookplates of Princeton and Princetoniansby Clifford N.Carver and found some bookplates from my own collection:Vance Thompson(Princeton ,1863) was a writer whose bookplate was designed by theEnglish sculptor Theodore Spicer-SimpsonHenry van Dyke's bookplate was etched by James Smille from a drawing by SiddonsMowbray. His love of fishing and reading is depicted.He graduated from Princetonin 1873 and was also a faculty member.The bookplate of Princeton's most famous faculty member is shown below.If you live in Princeton or you are a Princeton faculty memberor graduate and would like your bookplate added to this postingsend a scan to me and it will be included.Bookplatemaven@hotmail.comSee you next week