Inscribed to Beverly L. Stemmons; with Stemmons's elaborately lettered ownership signature on the front endpaper and his own signed quatrain on its verso. Oblong 8vo.; 56 leaves, most with a single manuscript entry. Original silver and gilt-stamped leather boards (rubbed, some wear along joints and other extremities), all edges gilt. Some interior soiling, shaken, a good copy. Item #47500
One of the drawings is a pen-and-ink dove delivering an envelope addressed to Stemmons; the other is an accomplished multi-color gouache picturing two young couples lounging in a rowboat on a gentle stream among water lilies, with a background of marsh and forest, one of the women feeding a swan, one of the men strumming a mandolin (signed in lower margin "Summer Hours" [by] "M[ary] L[izzie] K[elly]"). The album contains 55 entries, all typical prose or verse for the occasion, 45 probably entered at the Southwestern University commencement, eight in southern California in 1885, the other two in Texas in 1883. Southwestern University, a co-educational Methodist school, was founded in 1873. While Victorian autograph albums are quite common in trade on the east coast, western examples turn up much less frequently.