Prizegivings and Presentations

There is a a long tradition of marketing books as prizes  in juvenile publishing. These books were originally designed to impart moral guidelines, to reinforce exemplary behavior, and to caution against the evils of intemperance or profanity. The Religious Tract Society, with evangelical leanings, and the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, with a broader base, were two pioneer publishers in the field whose influence continued throughout the century. By the 1870s prize books were more secular in content and more attractive in appearance.

The presentation bookplate

During the late 19th and early 20thcentury presentation bookplates were highly elaborate, decorative pieces of artwork, typical of the style of the period. These awards which would no doubt be proudly shown by recipients to their family and friends.

Not just  schools, but also Sunday Schools and other religious organisations made  presentations of books with bookplates as these examples show.

Hover the cursor over the images to use the ZOOM function

Mathew Anderson was presented with a copy of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in 1882. The book features this presentation bookplate.
The 10 year old Hamlet Clarke was awarded this in 1897. Hamlet became a tailor and shopkeeper in Moruya.