A satirical souvenir of the Paris Siege of 1870-1 and a sardonic joke on the city’s fate at the hands of Bismarck’s Prussian forces.more...
After defeat at the Battle of Sedan in 1870, Republican leader Jules Favre, declared that France would yield ‘neither an inch of our territory, nor a stone of our fortresses’ (‘pas un pouce de notre territoire, pas une pierre de nos fortresses.’) After enduring confinement, revolution and heavy bombardment the Paris was reduced to near starvation, with horse, cat, dog and worse appearing on Parisian menus, accompanied by ‘pain du siège’, the coarse black bread which became a symbol of the fate of Paris.
After capitulation in 1871, food relief was sent to the Parisians from Germany, Britain and America, while enterprising bakers framed examples of their siege bread as souvenirs. A British visitor wrote: ‘On the Boulevard de Strasbourg there are streams of people dressed in holiday attire; itinerant dealers in tops, pamphlets, souvenirs of the siege—bits of black bread, made on purpose, and framed and glazed, also bits of shells—and scented soap, and coloured pictures; crowds of beggars everywhere. In this part of the town the revolution looks very much like a fair’ (John Leighton, Paris under the Commune, 1871).
This example combines an inch of soil, a fortress stone and a well-preserved slice of pain du siège ‘par dessous le marché’ (’black market bread’) on a lithographed background. We need not even mention Joseph Cornell..see full details
A splendid display of early nineteenth-century Chinese trades including craftspeople, a bookseller, purveyors of foods, medicines, fans, kites, toys and even a lion dancer, each drawing on one side of fine double-folded paper, captioned in ink in Chinese.more...
Albums such as these were produced in Chinese studios for the export market and were especially popular with Europeans for their exact portrayal of various aspects of Chinese life of the period: customs, costumes, occupations, flora and fauna. They ‘depicted those phases of Chinese life which fascinated the Westerner but defied descriptions to friends and family at home. Before the advent of the camera, this medium played an extremely vital role in revealing Oriental culture to the West.’ (Crossman, The China Trade, 1972). Though marketed to curious Europeans these albums represent important interpretations of Chinese life by indigenous Chinese artists. The present example is notable for being dated 1843, at the very end of the First Opium War just as five ports in China were being opened to the British.
These albums were luxury products, each one individually produced, and therefore priced beyond the means of any but the wealthy. Individual artists were never identified.
Lady Churchill, the original owner of the album, was born Lady Frances Fitzroy, the fifth daughter of Augustus Henry Fitzroy, third duke of Grafton. In 1801 she married Francis Almeric Spencer, youngest son of the fourth Duke of Marlborough and created first Baron Churchill of Wychwood in 1815. It is unlikely that the elderly Baron Churchill and his wife were in China at the time she received the album, and much more probable that it was presented to Lady Churchill in England as a gift, possibly by one of her military sons such as George Augustus Spencer, who was an officer in a regiment serving in China. .see full details
Compiled in the town of Popovo in the wine-growing region of North Eastern Bulgaria, this souvenir album was compiled by a federation of three local temperance societies and given to one ‘Monsieur Dr.more...
P. Legrain’. Most of the photographic postcards depict society outings, with large groups of men, women and children usually in outdoor settings in all seasons (including what appear to be very harsh winters). Several of the photographs were taken at harvest time, with copious bunches of grapes in evidence. The context of the presentation is not immediately obvious, though may be apparent in the three long inscriptions in Bulgarian accompanied by the purple inkstamps of each of the societies..see full details
Second edition (first 1724) of Hoffmann’s “Complete Instruction for a safe, sensible and medically respected practice of medicine”: a very extensive baroque medical compendium.more...
Friedrich Hoffmann (1660-1742), a German physician, practiced and taught medicine, chemistry and physics in Halle from 1693. He studied and wrote on such varied topics as paediatrics, mineral waters and meteorology and introduced many new drugs into medical practice (such as a compound spirit of ether branded “Anodyne” and “Hoffmanns-Tropfen” still today known as a household remedy). Hoffmann was among the first to describe several diseases, including appendicitis and German measles, and to recognize the regulatory role of the nervous system.
The work contains examinations of common ailments such as fever, infections, haemorrhageing, cramps, spasms and convulsions, consideration of the cerebral and nervous system, lymph and glands, female complaints and childhood illnesses. It also includes numerous medicinal recipes and cures..see full details
Published one year after the English first but suprisingly much scarcer with no copies listed in copac. The volume provides a miscellany of anecdotes on food, drink, dining, coffeehouses, and cafes..see full details