9 Apr

This is a turn-of-the-century autograph book with shadows – pre WW1. It is part of my private collection. Historical whimsy, quite popular in its day.


“The best in this kind are but shadows” — Shakespeare









  In my book, there are eight signatures.

All dated 1912. All ghosts now.


[practice signatures: Geneva A. Overend, Marian Overend, and Marian Belle]


“Dear Geneva. I am afraid you will think we all need adjusting when you see our “ghosts”. I thought since you could not see us this Christmas perhaps this little book might do as a substitute. With all good wishes for a Merry Christmas from *Harry & Nell.”


S. Isabel Sharman (Dec. 15th)


Katherine M. Phillips (Dec 15)


Nelle C. Hagenbuck * (Dec 18)


Harold E. Walberg (12/25/12)


Meave W. Sharman (Dec 15)


Arranged by Cecil Henland – Frederick A. Stokes Company Publishers – New York




Harry Hagenbuck * (Dec 19)

Mrs. J. Stanley Kelly [signature appears to be Irene C. Kelly] (Dec 25)

Mrs. J. Stanley Kelly [signature appears to be Irene C. Kelly] (Dec 25)


Geneva A. Overend (December 25th)



  1. Chris Sullivan April 10, 2014 at 8:59 p04 #

    I found the photographs fascinating but for a while I couldn’t figure out why. But, I believe it might be that the signatures having been ‘shadowed’ look like images of a Rorschach test and so gives the signatures a sense of the ethereal: a possible sense of who they were.

  2. Veroncia May 7, 2014 at 8:59 p05 #

    I remember “snatching” this book from my mama growing up and making ghosts with paint…loved this book..

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