1811 English "The Protean Figure and Metamorphic Costumes" by S&J Fuller

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An exterior folio with illustration of the Greek God Proteus (Protean) arising from the sea is beautifully lettered "The Protean Figure and Metamorphic Costumes",and contains a 17.5" x 11" heavy parchment background of English country scene,the sea in the background,rendered in delicate watercolors,and a bound book with instructions on use and 12 intricately folded paper envelopes,each containing a hand-colored costume of four or more elements. The hand-colored paper doll is a profile view of a handsome young man of the Romantic Era. Each costume envelope has a paper label with elegantly labeled name of the costume within: Walking Dress,Mourning Suit,Turkish Costume,Quaker's Habit,Officer's Uniform (Land Forces),Full Dress in the Year 1700,Monk Habit,Naval Uniform,German Hussar,Knight in Full Armour,Gentlemen's Evening Costume,French Uniform(Imperial Guard). The inside front cover of the book has "Directions for Exhibiting The Protean Figure" including details of where to place the man on the background (his feet in the shadows of the gravel walk,and his head touching the bird in the sky),and the sensible advice of how to dress the doll,i.e. the same order in which a man would dress himself. The name of Suury (sic) Printer,Berwick Street,Soho,London appears on the inside cover. Excellent condition. S&J Fuller,England,1811. Historical Note: The Greek God Proteus (Protean) was characterized by a remarkable ability to change shape and appearance Ñ hence the paper doll costume changes. In English literature and arts he had been a prominent symbolic figure for centuries in works ranging from Milton to Shakespeare,and,more relevant to this work,Protean appeared in a romantic sonnet of William Wordsworth,published just 3 years prior to the appearance of "The Protean Figure and Metamorphic Costumes".
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