Boston: Joseph Knight Company, (1895) copyright 1888. Later printing. Flexible 'Ivorine'. A gift binding, beautifully illustrated and designed, one of Stephen Foster's early musical compositions. This edition is not recorded in OCLC. OCLC 13422575 cites an earlier edition, published by Nims and Knight in Troy. Joseph Knight went out on his own in about 1892, located in Boston, and publishing the "Ivorine Series of Dainty Gift Books". The "Ivorine" series were published with a flexible celluloid cover, suggesting ivory, but more akin to vellum, with fluted edges lined with gilt and a hand-painted cover, in this case, of a riverboat on a river as seen from the shore, with a gravestone. The decorative text is faced with a woodcut illustration on every page. This copy has punched holes, and either never tied or the silk tie is long gone.
Stephen Collins Foster published Foster's Ethiopian Melodies, in 1849 which included the hit dialect song "Nelly Was A Lady", which was made famous by the Christy Minstrels. He was the first white composer to portray African-Americans in an empathetic way to the mainstream white audience of the time.
Information on the "Ivorine" series is from Sidney Huttner, Emeritus Librarian at the Univ. of Iowa, on "The LUCILE Project", which is a publishing history of the book by Owen Meredith, which also appeared as an "Ivorine" series title. He cites advertising dating from 1895 & 96 "of our well-known line of dainty gift books appear in a new dress. Each book is carefully sewed and gilded, and tied with silk ribbon in a flexible Ivorine cover, and fluted edges, with hand-painted decoration and title... (advertising) Lucile, $1.50. [Cut]. PW 28 Sept 1895: "Joseph Knight Company, Boston, who make a specialty of illustrated and standard gift-books, have in preparation.... Among the daintiest gift-books will be new editions of 'Lucile', 'Lady of the Lake', 'The Princess', and 'Idylls of the King'." [Described, same issue, in publisher's list as "cl, 16mo, 75 c.; il. 16mo, white cl., $1.50; hf. levant mor., $3.00.]. 1896 PTLA: New Editions of Ivorine Gift Books. The following volumes of well-known dainty gift books appear in a new dress. Each book is carefully sewed and gilded, and tied with silk ribbon in a flexible Ivorine cover, with fluted edges, and hand-painted decoration and title, boxed. Each 1 vol., 16mo., $1.00. [No cut].
Square 8vo, 36 unnumbered pages, wood engraved frontispiece (of Nelly) and 10 full page plates by Charles Copeland featuring African-Americans and scenes in the Old South, 16 text ornaments by Frank Myrick. Drawn, engraved, and printed under the supervision of A.V.S. Anthony--P. . Fine. Item #26413