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The Earliest Known Printed Dust Jacket (Now Lost)


The earliest known printed detachable paper covering for a book is for The Keepsake . . . 1833 published by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman in London, 1832. This was printed on front and back, the back cover containing an advertisement. It was designed to enclose the book completely, like wrapping paper.  Such wrappers were probably intended to be discarded by the user. The unique copy of the original with the jacket belonged to antiquarian bookseller and bibliographer John Carter, who reported on it in Publisher's Weekly in 1934, and Bibliographical Notes & Queries in 1935  The original was lost in 1952 "on the way to the Bodleian," as reported by Carter in Books and Book-Collectors (1956). Fortunately it had been photographed.

Tanselle, Book-Jackets: Their History, Forms, and Use (2011)  No. 32.1 (p. 112) illustrating the jacket from Carter's photograph as plate 1.

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