Boston: . Oblong 4to, 12-1/4" x 9-3/4." Original printed and illustrated title wrappers, stitched. Title as part of an elaborate, humorous etching of a human face, 'Scraps' written as a curly head of hair; eyes flanked by a gargoyle-like character. Four full-page etchings, each containing nine humorous designs, each page with original tissue guard. Verso of each leaf blank. Some foxing to tissue guards. Very Good.
This is the rare first edition of one of Johnston's earliest 'Scraps.' which he issued at various times between 1828 and 1849. Each leaf depicts a montage of nine detailed scenes satirizing contemporary society, with cartoon bubble dialogue and caricatured illustrations. Examples include: A working-class Boston family reminds a destitute woman of the pleasure in witnessing a hanging; a man shower-bathing with an umbrella; "Weak Nerves" depicting, with the usual racist dialogue, an African-American wedding; "Stricken in Ears" depicts a fancy white lady cuffing her Negro slave. Johnston was "known to his many admirers as the Cruikshank of the New World." See, Greenhill, 'David Claypoole Johnston and the Menial Labor of Caricature,' 17 American Art, No. 3, pp 32-51 . Born in 1799, Johnston "is best remembered for his contribution to the early years of lithography in America, and, of course, as a humorist." See, AAS Online Exhibition, 30 March 2007. Tatham called him "the outstanding comic artist of New England in painting and in the graphic arts."
Weitenkampf 51. Tatham, A Note About David Claypool Johnston, Syracuse U. Library Assoc. Courier (Spring 1970). AI 2069 [2- MBAt, PP]. Sabin 36358. Not in Weitenkampf. OCLC 82705140 [1- Met. Mus. Art] as of October 2020. Item #37150