A manuscript book of poetry and prose completed, according to the final page, on 24 April 1879, in Kishinev (modern-day Chi?inau, Moldova), then the capital of the Bessarabia Governorate in the Russian Empire.more...
Most of the work is either Russian (including pieces by Pushkin, Lermontov, Nekrasov, Zhukovsky, Dmitry Minayev, Countess Rostopchina, Lev Mei, and a number by Apollon Maykov; also translations, from Beranger, Fallersleben, etc) or Polish (among them a number of songs for the stage), but there are occasional poems in French (‘Pouchkin’, Victor Hugo) and even English (‘Rose Leaves’ by Austin Dobson, and ‘The Fairy’s Home’ by Louis Henry French du Terreaux). The illustrations are accomplished ink drawings in the style of contemporary newspaper or journal illustrations, including fashionable parlour scenes and comic interludes.
The ten leaves removed at the opening contained, according to the contents leaves at the end, Pushkin’s Gavriliada: his blasphemous parody of the Annunciation, at the time a banned book in Russia which did not appear in print there, and even then only in a censored version, until 1907..see full details
A delightful, if heartrending, late eighteenth-century manuscript testimony to a lost love, using the 128 blank pages bound with a pre-Revolutionary printed almanac.more...
In a long epistle, the anonymous author addresses his lover, Clarice, and traces the origins and progress of their love in innocent glances, family meals and garden walks. No sooner was their love hatched than the author was called away—an absence which seems to have distracted Clarice, who ceased to write to him and became indifferent. The monogram ‘CF’ on both covers must denote Clarice herself, and the perhaps the author’s own name, whose thoughtful and elegant prose may have been intended as a gift for his lost love. It is presumably entirely unpublished..see full details
A illuminated manuscript made by Fanny Roussan commemorating the marriage of her brother Hyacinthe Roussan and Evelina Ripert on July 15th, 1893 in the basilica of Notre Dame (Rennes, Brittany).more...
The book is dedicated to Evelina in October that year: ‘J’ai pensé vous faire plaisir chère Evelina, en vous peignant ce manuscrit. Acceptez mon travail, dicté par l’affecting et gardez le en souvenir d’une soeur.’ The text includes the marriage address given by Father Rippert (Evelina’s uncle) and the nuptial mass itself, followed by tow pages originally blank for the addition of ‘souvenirs’, which contain records of the baptism of two children: Odette (1896) and Margueritte (1899). The illumination includes delightful scrolling borders and lettering with gryphons and the occasional animal, together with pious portraits, a fine miniature depicting the basilica at Rennes and heraldic emblems of Britanny. One miniature, in grisaille, depicts a veiled woman at work copying manuscripts on a writing slope. Little else is known of this accomplished amateur scribe and illuminator, though we are aware of at least one other manuscript in her hand..see full details
A collection of poems by Cocteau handwritten by Rémon, who has also decorated the book with a series of black ink drawings by brush. The artist illustrated many published books, such as La Symphonie Pastorale by Gide, Marie du Port by Simenon and Les Paysages ensorcelés by Barbey d’Aurevilly. His favourite subject was the sea and he spent much of his time working in unusual places (including the Paris RER, and aboard ocean liners)..see full details
One of the most spectacular fruits of nineteenth-century Medievalism, with its elaborate chromolithograph interpretations of illuminated manuscripts, many with gold and silver inks. The text volume additionally contains a sequence of original photographic reproductions of prints by Wierix. Issued as a series of 70 individual numbers, the pagination of the plate volumes is very erratic, with numerous additional plates outside the main sequence and with some leaves having plates on both sides, others on just one. The appendix provides an historical and bibliographical key to the plates, listing manuscripts in mainly French and Italian libraries..see full details
A superb fashion album from the year of the Paris siege, with a great variety of dated designs showing the vogue for dresses emphasising a narrow figure with low sloping shoulders and skirts gathered extravagantly at the back with ribbons, tapes, ruches and ruffles.more...
Outdoor and walking dresses, evening dresses, hairstyles, headresses, veils, parasols, nightgowns, shoes and coats. Colours, especially for outdoor wear, tend towards darker palettes with deep greens, mauves and black in abundance.
Despite the Franco-Prussian war and the advance of the Germans on Paris, the city remained at the centre of the fashion world. The military realities of the Paris siege of that year impinge with one image of a rifleman (franc-tireur) of the Légion de la Seine (dated 25 August 1870) and the styles for 1871 exhibiting occasional military references with square cut coat pockets, brocades and frogging..see full details
A beguiling anonymous illustrated manuscript with painted miniatures on vellum.more...
The text is a poem by French poet of Greek and Franco-Levantine origin, Chénier (1762-94) who perished under the guillotine during the Terror. Praised as a precursor of the Romantics, his work was rediscovered and published during the nineteeth century. His exotic subjects, coupled with his tragic end made him a favourite among devotees of the decadent..see full details
FIRST GREUELL-ILLUSTRATED EDITION of Louÿs’ signature collection of sapphic verse, this copy with an original signed watercolour and four additional plates (one of which is a signed proof), several other plates also signed.more...
‘Arthur Greuell studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels from 1905 to 1909. He studied with Anquetin in Paris in 1913. He was especially influenced by Van Dongen and his friend Edouard Goerg. He went to Belgium, concentrating his activity on book illustration. He later returned to Paris and would remain there for the rest of his life’ (Benezit). Number 43 of 195 copies on Hollande de Pannekoek (total edition 247)..see full details
A typical Victorian handwriting copybook, devoting a page to each letter of the alphabet, with a single sentence, phrase of word repeated over several lines, the text of varying size.more...
‘All thy commandments are righteousness’; ‘Be ye angry and sin not’; ‘Fulminate’; ‘Knowledge is Power’, ‘Mathematician’; ‘Obrometer’, ‘Vice is attended with sorrow’; ‘X begins no word in the English language’. The sequence is broken in two places, with 2 pages of elementary mathematical exercises, and the last page is signed ‘William Blundell June 29th 1868 in Sussex’..see full details
Superb examples of the late-nineteenth-century medieval revival and specimens of the trade in painted miniatures imitating (innocently or not) the manuscript painting of the Middle Ages.more...
These miniatures can been attributed to Ernesto Sprega, restorer of the Raphael frescoes in the Vatican, or another facsimilist in his circle (cf. Manuscript Illumination in the Modern Age, ed. S. Hindman et al., 2001, pp. 120-22). The borders and the frames of the miniatures are bravura imitations of ornate Italian models of the late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century, perhaps even recalling the lavish and gaudy borders strewn with gold and brightly-coloured, fleshy foliage produced by Liberale da Verona (c. 1445-1530).
Whether these are pastiches or forgeries intended to deceive unwary buyers is a question for discussion. Certainly there are numerous examples of similar creations (notably by the Spanish Forger) sold in Europe to foreign (usually American) buyers in search of authentic medieval manuscript cuttings, and it is interesting that the artist here has offset the miniatures to one side of the leaf, leaving a blank space (approximately 10mm. wide) on one vertical edge, giving the impression to the casual observer that these are singletons, taken from a book, while in fact the vellum shows no signs of having ever been bound into a volume.
The subjects of the miniatures:
Leaf 1: recto, Christ entering Jerusalem on a donkey; verso, Christ seated in a hilly landscape surrounded by children, one of whom sits on his lap, and another holds a lamb.
Leaf 2: recto, Christ surrounded by the Apostles in a wooded landscape; verso, Christ before his followers accepting a golden ring from a richly dressed Jew and a young man (some rubbing to young man's face on verso and scratch through corner of miniature).
Leaf 3: recto, The Scourging of Christ (some minor paint flaking to base of miniature); verso, St. Paul cutting off Malchus' ear in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Leaf 4: recto, Christ before followers exposing his wound to Thomas; verso, the Descent from the Cross (small scratch to latter). Leaf 5: recto, bearded man with followers kneels as God appears as a bearded face in upper left-hand corner of miniature; verso, the same man standing before a medieval town gate surrounded by townspeople..see full details
A design portfolio, mostly dating from the last years of the Great War: early work by a progressive young female designer, Winifred How, made at a so-far unidentified British college of art and design.more...
The formal and informal elements of the collection, which includes many superb pencil and wash designs together with fabric and wallpaper samples, bridge the Arts and Crafts movement of the early century and a striking emergent modernism.
These spectacular designs are mostly formal exercises in pattern design, with an emphasis on the construction of repeating patterns, interchange, and counterchange (designs in which a certain colour of a motif and its ground are reversed in another part of the design). Also included are a number of more experimental designs, strikingly modernist, usually single panels, some elements of which are incorporated into the formal exercises. In several cases the time taken to make each sheet is noted (usually several hours), reflecting the commercial background of this formal training. The manuscript captions provide a key to each assignment, and some of the designs are marked with tutor’s comments (’good’, ‘beautiful’, excellent’, ‘all units too separate’, ‘good set but panel decoration has a sense of dropping at the centre’, ‘you want to try and get your units to unite’ etc).
She had evidently been a pupil of the progressive Margaret Morris dance movement. As a designer she provided musical notation and script for Eleanor and Harry Farjeon’s First (and Second) Chap-book of Rounds (1919 and 1920) and in the early 20s she contributed to the progressive magazine Form edited by Austin Osman Spare and W.H. Davies and Spare’s Golden Hind. It is likely she married in 1921. A letterpress flyer found among her designs here also provides a neat context for How’s workis for a benefit exhibition at Welwyn Garden City for the Women’s Committee for the Relief of Miner’s Wives & Children, at which pictures by Brangwyn, Nash, Rothenstein, Spencer and Fry were on sale..see full details
Folio (335 × 210 mm), pp. , plus several blank leaves at end. Text in manuscript, full-page illustrations in crayon or pastel. Lightly browned throughout, fragile at edges with minor fraying, all the result of poor quality paper. In original cloth backed notebook. Binding rather worn. A handsome chanson manuscript, anonymous but for the decorative initials 'J.B'. The songs include: 'Le Pigeon blessé', 'Sous les Platanes', 'Carmen', 'Chagrins d'Amour', 'Juanita', 'La Femme est un jouette' and 'Mort pour la France'.
II. Émile LEBLOND. Dijon, c. 1904.
Manuscript, 4to (214 × 170 mm), pp. 1-12, 17-98, 101-102, 105-270, 280-320, several blanks at rear. Evidence of 3 leaves removed, perhaps by the maker. Numerous drawings in ink and crayon, decorative headings. Original cloth notebook. Rather rubbed. An illustrated chansonnier made by a soldier of the First Artillery, stationed at Dijon. This is an especially full example which gives some unusual details as to its making: Leblond occasionally records the number of weeks he has been in service and there is evidence of carbon tracing, demonstrating the use of illustrations from popular journals in making these chansonniers. The songs include: 'Berceuse militaire', 'L'Africaine', 'Chapeai bas devant la Marseillais', 'Vous êtes si jolie', 'Four frou' and 'Ma Ninette'.
III. Yvan LOREAU. Chemillé-sur-Seine, c. 1909.
Manuscript, small 4to (216 × 175 mm), pp. , 88, ruled paper. Drawings in ink and crayon. Original limp wrappers. Yvan Loreau writes on his title-page that this manuscript was made 'Sur le tour de France' and begun on 11th December 1909. Songs include: 'Voila la Parisienne', 'Le petit coeur de Ninon', 'Ah! Ma p'tit Lili', 'Le ruban bleu de l'hirondelle' and 'Pas sur la bouche'.
IV. Alexandre MOULLET, 'le gros bâtarde'. Valence, 1913-14.
Manuscript (on squared paper), 4to (222 × 170 mm), pp. . Drawings in ink and crayon, partially unfinished. Some thumbing and fraying, one leaf loose. Original half cloth notebook. An illustrated chansonnier made on the eve of the Great War for one Alexandre Moullet, picturesquely nicknamed 'le gros bâtarde', of the 5eme Régiment d'Artillerie lourde, 8ème batterie, at Valence (Drôme). Songs include: 'Les petites Toulonnaises'; 'Soldat vierge', 'Marins de Marseille', 'Coeur Crise', 'Sur la Riviera' and 'Le dernier Tango'.
V. REDON. Valbonne (Ain), 1921.
Manuscript on paper, small 4to (216 × 170 mm), pp. , plus numerous blanks at rear, numerous drawings in pencil, ink and crayon (a couple cut from newspapers or journals, decorative headings. Original half cloth notebook. Songs include: 'Tu voudrais me voir pleurer', 'La vals du pastis', 'Vous rendez tous les hommes fou' and 'Le train fatale'. One verse is subscribed 'Fait a la Valbonne le 12-12-21 une soiré de grand froid'. .see full details
A delightful fin-de-siècle devotional manuscript illuminated with great skill by a Miss Maury of Nice, reputedly when in her nineties.more...
Each day of the week is provided with prayers and devotions written in her neat calligraphic hand and almost every page bears at least one example of her minutely-rendered illumination. About the maker we know nothing else. She signs and dates the manuscript at the end..see full details
A remarkable manuscript account of a French campaign in Bavaria and Bohemia during the first Silesian War, in the form of extracts from (unpublished) letters from an artillery major.more...
It is subtitled: ‘Extrait des lettres ecrittes par Mr. Du Gravier surtout ce qui s’est passé depuis le depart des Trouppes de France pour la Bavière, jusqu’au retour de celles que Mr. Le M[arécha]l de Belisle a ramenée de Prague.’ The campaign was led by the Maréchals de Broglie and de Belle Isle and the detailed extracts cover the march to Prague, its storming by French troops in 26 November 1741, the subsequent siege at the hands of the Austrian army and the escape of some 14,000 French troops from the city in December 1742..see full details
An idiosyncratic personal index of useful and curious facts, mainly geographical, in part forming an index to the Encyclopédie Méthodique (which had been issued in print without an index), a gazetteer to its Atlas, and an index to various other books, such as Valmont de Bomare’s Histoire Naturelle and Lacroix’s Géographie.more...
A homespun affair, the volume is rather haphazardly arranged and presented in homemade boards covered in rather fine contemporary wallpaper. It includes references to regions, cities and landmarks in Europe, Asia, Africa and America (the latter including mentions of Cabot, Columbus and Penn) and several ingenious diagrams of the rivers of France..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