The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections

The Charlotte M. Smith Collection of Miniature Books

Breed, Butler & Co.

Return to: 19th Century American Miniature Books in the Smith Collection

The portion of this website in front of you brings together in preliminary fashion a variety of lists and descriptions for United States Miniature Books published before 1901 (or by a publisher whose output largely dates before 1901). The books have been organized, generally, by press or publisher as described in Robert C. Bradbury’s Antique United States Miniature Books, 1690-1900 (No. Clarendon, Vermont: The Microbibliophile, 2001). This page describes titles held by the University of Iowa Libraries for the presses or publishers described below. The descriptions generally follow Bradbury’s format: Author. Title. Imprint (if it varies from the heading), date. Size in inches. Number of pages. Brief physical description. Illustrations note. Copy # of [##] copies (when known).

Bradbury notes that “Aunt Laura” and “Aunt Fanny” was a popular children’s book author of the 1860s, Frances Elizabeth Barrow. She wrote five series of stories. The first series consists of six stories dated 1862; the second of another six titles dated 1863; the third series is also dated 1863 and called Little Walter’s Library (though this is not noted in the books themselves); the fourth is six titles dated 1866; and the fifth series, six titles about cats, was published by Breed and Lent.

Breed, Butler & Co.

Buffalo, NY

1861-1866

The Child’s Bijou. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1861. 96 pp., 3-1/16″ x 2-1/4″.
Bound in dark brown cloth over boards with the title stamped in black on the front cover. Cover illustrations are engraved. Edges are gilt. Cover is worn. B19th B1193

Gems of Fable. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1861. 96 pp. 3 1/16″ x 2 1/4″.
Edited by J.H.R. Green contemporary cloth and gilt lettering. Decoration quite faded. All edges gilt. Considerable foxing on endpapers. B19th B1194

The Mosaic. Buffalo: Breed, Butler and Co., 1861. 96pp., 3-1/16″ x 2-1/4″.
Bound in redish brown cloth over boards with the title gold stamped on the front cover. Front fly leaf is missing from text. Edges are gilt. Cover is worn and pages are yellowed with age. B19th B1195

Poetical Fortune Teller. Buffalo: Breed and Butler, 1861. 95 pp. 3″ x 2 1/4″.
Cloth bound. Parts of end paper and title page missing. All edges gilt. B19th B1200

Irving, Washington. Irving Gems. Buffalo: Breed and Butler, 1861. B19th B1198. [Not found on 1/3/02 inventory].

[Barrow, Frances Elizabeth]. Christmas Stories. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1862. 64 pp. 2-1/8″ x 1-9/16″.
Contains two stories: p3-28, “Aunt Laura’s Story of the Old Man of the Mountain”; p29-64, “Christmas Merry-Making”.
Bound in brown cloth over boards with the title gold stamped on the front cover. Edges are gilt. Covers are worn and pages are yellowed with age. B19th B1216

—-. Fairy Tales. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1862. 64 pp. 2 1/4″ x 1 1/2″.
Contains two stories: p3-39, “Minnette, or the Dandelion Fairy”; p40-64, “Brownette, or the Hearthside Fairy”.
Copy1: Blue cloth binding; all edges gilt; gold stamping faded.
Copy 2:Green cloth; all edges gilt; stamping bright. Gift of Carol Kapell in Memory of Pauline B. Deems. B19th B1217

—-. New Testament Stories. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed and Butler, 1862. 64 pp. 2 1/8″ x 1 9/16″.
Contains three stories: p3-26, “The Babe of Bethlehem”; p27-39. “Story of the Family of Bethany”; pp40-64, “The Last Days of Christ on Earth”.
Copy 1: Black cloth bound with faded gilding; all edges gilt; lacks front flyleaf.
Copy 2: Brown cloth; brighter stamping; all edges gilt. Gift of Carol Kapell in Memory of Pauline B. Deems. B19th B1218

—-. Old Testament Stories. Buffalo: Breed and Butler, 1862. 64 pp. 2 1/8″ x 1 9/16″.
Contains fivestories: p3-20, “Adam and Eve”; p21-30 “The Story of Abraham and Issac”; p31-43, “The Story of Moses”; p44-53, “The Story of David and Goliath”; p54-64, “The Story of the Shunemite”.
Copy 1: Brown cloth with gold stamping; all edges gilt..
Copy 2: Purple cloth, stamping faded; all edges gilt. Text block detached from case. Gift of Carol Kapell in Memory of Pauline B. Deems. B19th B1219

—-. Orphan Willie. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed & Butler, 1862. 64 pp. 2 1/8″ x 1 9/16″.
About a Civil War Soldier Boy. Stamped cloth cover. B19th B1220

—-. Our Picnic in the Old Woods. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1862. 64 pp. 2 1/8″ x 1 5/8″.
From first set of six. Visit of city children and parents to grandpaent’s farm; narrated by mother. Granfather tells a long tale about his adventures as a sailor at an earlier time in his life.
Copy 1: Dark brown cloth with gold stamping; all edges gilt; separating after title page.
Copy 2: Dark green cloth with gold stamping; all edges gilt. Gift of Carol Kapell in Memory of Pauline B. Deems. B19th B1221

History of the Bible. Buffalo: Breed and Butler, 1862. 192 pp. 2 3/16″ x 1 7/8″.
Illustrated with woodcuts. Embossed cloth binding faded. All edges marbled. Owner’s inscription B19th B1223. Adomeit A121. (shelved with thumb bibles).

[Barrow, Frances Elizabeth]. Bird Stories. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1863. 64 pp. 1 7/8″ x 1 7/16″.
A string of short, varied, tales involving birds.
Extremities slightly rubbed, otherwise a very fine bright copy in gilt-stamped blue cloth. All edges gilt. B19th B1225

—-. The Bunch of Grapes. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler and Co., 1863. 64 pp. 1 5/8″ x 1 1/4″.
Contains two stories: p 3-52p, “The Bunch of Grapes”, p53-64, “Little Limpy”. Both set in a town of “poor” people, the first concerns a boy trying to find something to “lend to the Lord”, the second a girl who is taunted because she limps.
From the 3rd set of 6 “Little Walter’s Library.” Cloth binding with gold embossed stamping. All edges gilt. B19th B1226

—-. Carl’s Visit to the Child Island. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed and Butler, 1863. 61pp. 1-7/8″ x 1-7/16″.
A boy is given a toy ship and warned not to play with it after sunset; he does, and is taken away for adventures on the “dreadful” Child Island.
Bound in brown cloth with the title and cover illustrations engraved in gilt. Edges gilt. B19th B1227

—-. The Dolls’ Surprise Party. By Aunt Laura. Breed, Butler & Co., 1863. 64 pp. 1 7/8″ x 1 3/8″.
Two girls play with their dolls (cooking, having a party, etc.), with the dolls taking part in the festivities.
Gilded cloth. All edges gilt. Covers rubbed and slightly warped. Some wear to edges of pages. B19th B1228

—-. The Faithful Sheep. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1863. 62 pp. 1 5/8″ x 1 1/4″.
A story about “faith” titled “The Ant, The Sheep, and The Grasshopper”; the Grasshopper is frivolous, the Ant industrious, but the farmer plows up the Ant’s house (because he worked only for himself and his family); but the sheep, though they could not do much, faithfully worked for their master.
Part of the 3rd set called “Little Walter’s Library.” Cloth, all edges gilt. B19th B1229

—-. Grandma’s Story of the Vain Little Girl. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1863. 61 pp. 1 7/8″ x 1 3/8″.
A five year old boy pulls a dictionary on his head and tears his newly-made trousers; he is comforted by his grandmother who tells him about Jennie Mills who, caught up in feeling pretty, fails to look both ways crossing the street and whose foot is consequently run over by wagon. A second, later, longer story is “The Babes in the Wood” (children sent on a errand get lost in the woods); book ends with “Evening Cradle Song” and “Swedish Mother’s Lullaby.”
First edition. Bluish-grey cloth with gold stamping, excellent condition. All edges gilt. B19th B1230

—-. Little Comfort. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1863. 64 pp. 1 5/8″ x 1 1/4″.
“Little Comfort” is the pet name of Matty Wilkins; her facter is an irreligious foundry worker who, badly injured in an accident, changes his way. A second story is titled, “Poor Kitty” and concerns a rich little girl who gives her favorite pet kitten to a sick boy.
Faded maroon cloth, gilted. All edges gilt. Hinges split and rear end paper missing. Spine cloth thin and very worn. B19th B1231

—-. Little Katy and Her Mother. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1863. 64 pp. 1 5/8″ x 1 5/16″.
Kathy is a little poor girl, but good, whose mother is hired by a rich family to do their laundry, nd who is consequenrly able to go to sunday school clean and appropriately dressed, only to be teased by some of the not-so- good children in her neighborhood.
Cloth binding with gold stamping. All edges gilt. From third set: “Little Walter’s Library.” B19th B1232

—-. Morsels of History. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler and Co., 1863. 64 pp. 1-7/8″ x 1-7/16″.
Uncle Charlie lets the cookies burn and tells the stories of “King Alfred and His Cakes” and p54 folloeing, “The Women of Wies-Baden.”
Bound in blue cloth over boards with the title gold stamped on the front cover. Edges are gilt. Covers are worn and pages are yellowed with age. B19th B1233

—-. Silver Medal. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed and Butler, 1863. 64 pp. 1-5/8″ x 1-1/4″.
A number of young girls enter a composition competition; Lizzie Balcom finds Bell Munson’s lost entry and hides it.
Bound in brown cloth over boards with the title and decorations gold stamped on the front cover. Edges are gilt. Cover is worn and the pages are yellowed with age. B19th B1234

—-. Story of the Grimalkin Family. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1863. 64 pp. 1 13/16″ x 1 7/16″.
Story of a family of cats, including five kittens who explore the wicked world outside their barn.
Cloth bound. Embossed and gilt stamped. All edges gilted. From second set of six. B19th B1235

—-. A Talk with the Little Folks. By Aunt Laura. Buffalo: Breed, Butler & Co., 1863. 63 pp. 1 5/8″ x 1 1/4″.
Stories about Christ for children “too little to read or do anything but climb up into my lap and cudle up to me.”.
Part of a third series. All edges gilt. B19th B1236

—-. Fanny’s Fair [for the Soldiers]. By Aunt Fanny. Buffalo: Breed & Butler, 1866. 63 pp., 1 1/2″ x 1 1/8″.
Child organizes a sale, sells admissions tickets, etc. to benefit wounded soldiers of the Civil War.
Copy 1: Spine very slightly faded, otherwise a fine copy in gold and blind-stamped covers.
Copy 2: Stamping going copper-colored; most of front flyleaf removed. Gift of Carol Kapell in Memory of Pauline B. Deems. B19th B1267.

—-. Fanny’s Journey. By Aunt Fanny. Buffalo: Breed, Butler and Co., 1866, 64 pp. 1 1/2″ x 1 1/16″.
Fanny gets up very early to travel by train from the city to TTruro, is surprized to see women working on farms; the paper boy sells copies of Harper’s Weekly which contains pictures of “Union soldiers gaining victories over the rebels.” An old woman sits next to Fanny and her mother and talks about her two sons who “were off to the war.” They each give a blinld boy a coin.
One of the smallest titles on this famous children’s miniture series by Aunt Fanny and Aunt Laura. This is only a good copy with the covers and gilt faded, hinges cracked and pages browned. It is still tight and complete. B19th B1268

—-. Fanny’s Picnic. By Aunt Fanny. Buffalo: Breed & Butler, 1866. 64 pp. 1 7/16″ x 1 1/4″.
Fanny and her mother take a group of girls and their mothers for a picnic in a grove near the city
Red cloth with all edges gilt. B19th B1269

—-. Miss Nason’s Story. By Aunt Fanny. Buffalo: Breed & Butler, 1866. 61 pp. 1 1/2″ x 1 1/8″.
A poor little lame girl comes to school; she has been abused by her mother. She becomes sick; her mother is intoxicated; and she dies from neglect.
Gilt blue cloth. All edges gilt. B19th B1270