Israel: 1945. Hardcover. Oblong octavos. 8 1/4x 12 3/4". A combined total of 415 single-sided leaves (mostly unpaginated). Bound in modern 3/4 brown cloth over tan mottled paper boards. Notebook #1: 60 unpaginated leaves. Notebook #2: 37 unpaginated leaves. Notebook #3: 61 paginated leaves. Notebook #4: 34 paginated leaves. Notebook #5: 62 unpaginated leaves. Notebook #6: 161 unpaginated leaves. All leaves contain text and images handwritten and hand-drawn (in watercolor and ink) on high quality bond paper. Modern free endpapers bound in to all volumes.
Presented as a gift to a Haganah member named "Natan" (or Nathan) on the day of his release from prison (May 1945/ 21st of the month of Iyar 5705), this group of six illustrated manuscript books were created by students of a fifth grade class of an elementary school (not named) in Revohot, Mandatory Palestine (now Israel). The books feature delightfully rich original color illustrations of people, landscapes and sites, as well as maps throughout, including decorative and historiated initials, to accompany the manuscript text, which is all written with fine penmanship. There are occasional sporadic instances of corrections, layout markers and compiling notes, likely from a teacher, throughout. A few of the books have had their final leaves mistakenly placed upside down when they were bound. Much of the illustrations and text seem to be in a similar hand, however there are differences, leading to the question of weather these volumes are in fact the work of a single student, multiple students, or a collaboration between the entire class. The fact that the Haganah member is addressed solely by his first name, and that the students created this wonderful gift for him, implies that there likely had been a previous ongoing organized correspondence between the class and the prisoner, and that this was a sort of culmination of their relationship.
The content of the first two notebooks is comprised of a day by day detailed account of the a school trip taken by the students to cities, towns, natural areas and other sites throughout the northern coastal areas of the country. These include a train trip from Rehovot to Atlit, Wadi Fallah, Kibbutz Beit Oren, Keren Ha'Carmel, Daliat al-Carmel, Kibbutz Yagur, Haifa (including a meeting with the mayor Shabtai Levy), Ramat Yochanan, the "Na'aman" brick factory, Acre, Nahariya and Kibbutz Eilon. The second of these two is identical in terms of content, and has much of the same text as the first book, but the layout is slightly different and the illustrations are all different, essentially making it an alternate version of the same book. At the begining of the first book is a a detailed fold-out illustrated map plotting the course of the trip.
The other four books contain a vast array of information (likely studied throughout the school year by the students) on a wide range of historical, geographic, and social aspects of the various areas of Israel, organized by region, including text on Samaria, the Carmel, Beit Oren, Be'ersheva and the Negev. Also included, especially in the large final notebook, are illustrated diagrams, thematic maps, notes on fishing, reproduced poems and stories, as well as natural science topics.
Some leaves with sporadic minor creasing and/or stains. Bindings in near fine, interiors in very good to near fine condition overall. vg to near fine. Item #47119