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Raphael Tuck

(1821—1900) art publisher


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(1821–1900), publisher of illustrated books and paper ephemera born in Koschmin, East Prussia (now Poland), who became naturalized as a British citizen in 1875. Tuck and his family moved to London in 1865, where he and his wife opened a small print and frame shop. By the 1870s the business had expanded and, with their three oldest sons as associates, became Raphael Tuck and Sons. Tuck and Sons produced a full range of luxury paper items: picture books, scrapbook pictures, valentines, puzzles, paper dolls, decorated paper, and postcards. All of the studio design and editorial work was done in London but was sent to Germany to be printed, taking advantage of the Germans’ high-quality chromolithographic printing processes. Tuck's extensive catalog of children's books included a full range of publications—from small, shaped books to elaborate foldout panoramas. The publisher's colorful and imaginative books covered topics from ancient myths to contemporary events and were distinguished by their high- quality, full-color illustrations. Tuck's late-nineteenth- century books often featured stylishly dressed children in elegant period clothing. While beautiful children continued to be featured in their twentieth-century publications, a growing number of their illustrated books featured wild animals and contemporary modes of transportation. However, throughout Tuck's publishing history, storybooks were its most notable contribution, and Hans Christian Andersen, E. Nesbit, and Charles Kingsley were among the popular authors they published. Illustrations by Lucie Mabel Attwell appeared in several fairy-tale compilations. Many of the publisher's books were issued in a series aggregated with the familiar “Father Tuck” as part of the series name, such as in the Father Tuck's “Little Pets” series. While Raphael Tuck and Sons continued to publish books until the 1950s, their complete publishing record may never be known since their offices were destroyed in a World War II bombing.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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