Question on various children's books published by Raphael Tuck & Sons


I am cataloging a number of books published by Raphael Tuck & Sons Co. for my library and was hoping those running this site may be able to help answer some questions I have about them.

I have four books published by Raphael Tuck and Son’s Co., each of which belong to at least one series. Some of these have records in Worldcat, but two do not. I’ve listed the titles below, along with the series names which appear. In addition to the specific series titles listed below, each one is identified as part of the “Artistic series” by the trademark on the back and given a number. Here are the titles:

  • Father Tuck’s ABC of Objects: no. 5040, Father Tuck’s “Little Lessons” series
  • Animal friends: no. 3057, Father Tuck’s Little pets’ series
  • Something new for all of you: no. 6338, Father Tuck’s “Quick change” series
  • Your dolly: no.2025, Father Tuck’s “Sunny Days” series – for this title I noticed that the version in your ephemera DB appears similar but has a different series name YOUR DOLLY - TuckDB Ephemera

For each of these titles I have basically the same questions:

  • When (approximately) were these series published?
  • Is the numbering on each book related to the artistic series or the other series titles present?
  • Do the images or text in these books have any relation to the postcards that I gather Raphael Tuck was better known for?

After reading your history page and looking at the publication statement I gather that they were likely published no earlier than 1895 since the Paris and New York offices were open, but since they were in operation for a few decades afterwards I’d like to narrow it down a bit if I can. That page also described the changes in where Tuck’s material was printed, which I think would be interesting to note but which is not mentioned anywhere on the items.

Any help or insight into these materials would be greatly appreciated! If nothing else I also wanted to post to thank you for setting up a site like this. I’ve learned much from this site already so thanks again!

@harr2990 Welcome to the forum, some of your books are listed here, all the information we have about them is on the site.

I can answer one of your questions:

Do the images or text in these books have any relation to the postcards that I gather Raphael Tuck was better known for?

Tuck re-used images across different postcard sets, and all sorts of ephemera. Greeting cards will often have the same image as a postcard for example.

I hope that info helps.

Hi-I will try to help you as the books listed are mostly in my personal collection. They are not entered into WorldCat as I am not registered as a library or bookseller. I have not found WorldCat a very useful reference as I think there are lots of books in collections that don’t get documented.
For dating items I mostly use

the listing in the Whtton book Collector’s guide to Raphael Tuck & sons. I will add a copy of the page here and you can print it out or purchase the book on your own. I would say that your books were about 1910.
There is no corelation to the Artistic series and the numbers. The numbers are essentially meaninglless as far as I can see. There are often small runs of books that are similar that do seem to run in order but mostly the numbers are useless except for organizing or documenting. There are small runs of series like the Little Pets, Little Lessons, Quick change etc. like you have but the same book can show in several series and versions and with different numbers for each one. There are untearable linen versions also of many of the books that make them more durable to small hands and they will have different numbers as well. The artistic series trademark is on most of the books and greeting cards and is so common that it is not useful to sort by. Tuck re-used many of their images from postcards, calendars etc. and books.

Thank you both for your responses. I will definitely save that page from the collector’s guide for future reference. These came in along with a variety of other materials but if we ever have to work on a large collection of material from Tuck’s I will definitely advocate for purchasing a copy as had the same reaction as you did when I began looking for records for these in WorldCat. It’s interesting to hear that the numbering is basically meaningless, as at first glance it appeared to be numbering that covered all the juvenile books they printed (or books in general) with additional series names to describe different content or format types. I’ve seen this with other publishers from this time period, though without any kind of series statement from the publisher it can be hard to tell just looking at a single item or even a few. I suppose it would make my job much easier if publishers did things to satisfy the needs of library catalogers as opposed to readers but also a lot less interesting. Thanks again for your help!