An Epistle to a Friend
Charles Wilson Peale, 1803
PEALE, Charles Wilson (1741-1827). An Epistle to a Friend, on the means of Preserving Health, Promoting Happiness; and prolonging the life of Man to its Natural Period. Philadelphia: Jane Aitken, 1803.

Presentation copy of a medical work by the founder of one of America's first museums, Charles Wilson Peale, bound by the printer, Jane Aitken. The "friend" here is Thomas Jefferson, one of Peale's longtime correspondents. This copy has extra blank leaves bound at the back—likely for the owner to use to add their own medical and culinary recipes. It is inscribed to Peale's future daughter-in-law Elizabeth Burd Patterson, soon to marry his son Rubens Peale. The book was printed by Jane Aitken, daughter of prominent Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken, and bound in her shop. No copies are recorded as sold at auction in over 50 years. Shaw and Shoemaker 4829.

Octavo (200 x 122mm). With 25 blank leaves bound at end. (A little toned and spotted.) Contemporary gilt-stamped paneled sheep by Jane Aitken (joints cracked and starting, surfaces abraded with loss including spine panel). Custom chemise and slipcase. Provenance: Eliza Burd Patterson (1795-1864; presentation inscription dated 1819) – B.P. Reubens Peale (inscription located "Pottsville").

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