27 invitation cards to the notorious Parisian annual costume ball.more...
The ball first commenced in 1892, and apart from the war years ran, until 1966. Attendance to the ball was restricted to students and former students of the École, as well as ‘artistic personalities’ who had contributed to the preparation of the ball. The balls were held in several major venues scattered throughout Paris over the years, with most taking place at the Moulin Rouge, the Salle Wagram, and the Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles. Although in its early years the ball was simply an elaborate party, beginning in 1900 each ball had a specific historic theme, often derived from an ancient text or inspired by an ‘exotic’ foreign culture, around which various contests were arranged. With the addition of a theme the balls became more elaborate often turning debaucherous, romping affairs with guests soon discarding the period costumes that they were required to wear to gain entrance. The nudity, dancing and merrymaking often continued into the wee hours, the ball usually ending, with a shout of ‘Vive les Quat’z’ Arts!’, around seven o’clock in the morning, followed by a procession through the Latin Quarter, a romp around the Louvre, and a march over the Pont du Carrousel to the Théâtre de l’Odéon, where the partygoers would disband.
Not surprisingly The Bal des Quat’z’ Arts quickly became one of the premier events of the summer season. The invitations which had to be handed over at the door were elaborately designed to match the spectacle of the events, and correspondingly were often thematically orientalist, exotic, or primitive, with overtly erotic and sexual imagery. They are a tour de force of the evolution of artistic style, showing the progress from Art Nouveau to modernist primitivism, up through psychedelic design. The ball is famously depicted in a series of photographs by Brassaï of 1930 and numerous other photographic records exist of the ball and its associated street procession. The invitations here all have their perforated ticket (in one example, detached but present) and include the following years: 1912, 1917, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934 (two variants), 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950 (two variants), 1951, (three variants), 1952, 1953 (two variants), 1954 (two variants), 1955, and 1956. All in at least very good condition. A remarkable collection..see full details
A collection of photographs, with a written introduction by Hurlimann showing various scenes and famous places of India. He was a Swiss publisher, who founded a newspaper Atlantis, in 1929 which specialised in international travel, but he is best known for being a photographer of Western European cities..see full details
A superb and extensive manuscript chansonnier, containing at least 900 popular, topical and satirical chansons, dating from 1600-1737, many with detailed musical notation.more...
In pre-revolutionary France, social comment and political criticism found eloquent expression in song. These chansons were sung in the lower reaches of the royal courts, in salons and on street corners, often to popular tunes or show tunes by Lully and other composers, and were passed around orally or on manuscript sheets, a mode of transmission that Cultural historian, Robert Darnton has memorably described as ‘viral’. It was a fashionable activity around 1700 to copy these songs into bound volumes, such as these, collecting all the old songs and adding new ones as they appeared. Similar collections were sometimes also printed, but the manuscript versions tend to be fuller and contain more detail on the context and on the musical accompaniment. In our example, one of the best we have come across, the subject of each song is given in revealing shoulder notes and the melodies are written out in full, complete with key signatures, at the head of many of the texts.
The earlier songs are of the ‘Mazarinade’ variety, with a large proportion of the later seventeenth-century examples directed against the court of young Louis XIV, presided over by Cardinal Mazarin. Later songs include satires on John Law and his disastrous speculation in the Mississippi project, on the religious cult of the Convulsionnaires in Paris, on the morality of the clergy (a Boulogne pastor is accused of deflowering a novitiate) and of the women of the Paris theatre (and their periodic public debauches), and one on Voltaire, condemned for his Lettres philosophiques (Letters Concerning the English Nation, 1733). Together they can genuinely be claimed as a social history of France in verse and song, for the period in question.
Robert Darnton has made an extensive study of similar chansonniers in French public collections, published as Poetry and the Police: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris (2010). He writes: ‘Parisians improvised new words to old tunes every day and on every possible subject—the love life of actresses, executions of criminals, the birth or death of members of the royal family, battles in times of war, taxes in times of peace, trials, bankruptcies, accidents, plays, comic operas, festivals, and all sorts of occurrences that fit into the capacious French category of faits divers (assorted events). A clever verse to a catchy tune spread through the streets with unstoppable force, and new verses frequently followed it, carried from one neighbourhood to another like gusts of wind. In a semiliterate society, songs functioned to a certain extent as newspapers. They provided a running commentary on current events.’
I. 1600-64, ff. 250, , the first and last blank. II. 1665-88, ff. 232, the first blank. III. 1689-1701, ff. 247, , the last blank. IV. 1702-1708 (title page date 1735), ff. 250, , the last 3 blank. V. 1708-1714, ff. 1-56, 58-149, . VI. 1714-23, ff. 246, . VII. 1724-34, ff. 240, , plus several blanks at rear. VIII. 1729-1737. ff. 229, . .see full details
Contains rules and regulations (Chapters under Titre I - X) governing the activities and protocol of employees of the Palais impérial de France, including the activities of the Garde impériale in the service of ‘l’Impereur et de l’Impératrice’ and ‘Grands officiers de la Couronne’, and rules for conducting ceremonies in the Chapel.more...
This is also a guide to appropriate formal behaviour in the Napoleonic court, published just two years after Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France. Extremely precise descriptions of all court proceedings are provided, detailing the etiquette of processions, balls and concerts, pages’ service, etiquette of bureaucratic functions... and the preparation of the Emperor’s breakfast.
Although the Bibliotheque nationale catalogue records an edition of of 1805, this 1806 edition is considered the first complete codification. It was revised and reissued several times..see full details
First edition, large paper copy on vergé (and rare thus).more...
The scandalous memoirs of Philadelphia-born Harriet Ely Blackford, dubbed ‘Fanny Lear’, who conducted an affair with Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich, nephew of Czar Nicholas I between 1870 and 1874. In 1874 she was accused of stealing diamonds belonging to the imperial family and was banished from the court..see full details
First edition, a rare account of the short and tragic life of Ivan Antanovitch, who reigned briefly as an infant Emperor of Russia from 1740-1 before being spirited away after the coup of Elizabeth of Russia in 1741 and then conveniently assassinated in 1764, shortly after the accession of Catherine the Great.more...
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
Metz was in important centre for of popular publishing, its prodigious output in the early nineteenth century meriting the general term: ‘Imagerie Messine’.more...
Jules Chaste, whose name appears on the cover of this untitled picture panorama, is known for his vivid colouration with gold highlights, both surviving in this ogre tale with exceptional freshness..see full details
A SUPERB BOOK OF THE DEAD BY AN IMPORTANT TRANSGENDER ARTIST, habitually addressed by his friend Picasso as ‘Monsieur Madame’. A spectacular large-format engraved book—the text being burin engraved throughout by Anton Prinner. The text is drawn from the translation by Pierret after the Turin papyrus. It was published with the assistance of Robert J. Godet, who died shortly afterwards: Prinner signs on his behalf ‘pour J. Godet +’.
‘Anton Prinner, who was probably born Anna Prinner but lived as a man throughout his life, studied painting at the Budapest school of fine arts in 1920 and went to Paris in 1928. He then gave up painting for a while and studied occult sciences, esoteric doctrines and mystical philosophies... During the wartime German occupation of France, Prinner went into hiding, living in a squalid garret... He was an intriguing and enigmatic character, who lived a solitary and reclusive life, and the chronology of some stages of his work and life remains obscure.
When Prinner resumed painting in 1932 after his occult studies, he was much influenced by Mondrian's Neo-Plasticism and by Russian Constructivism. At that time, he also learned print-making, working in Atelier 17 in Paris with Stanley William Hayter. After his Constructivist period, which lasted from 1932 to 1937, he worked on low relief and then high relief sculpture, a medium always favoured by Constructivist artists. At some time, perhaps around 1939, he took up sculpture in the round, producing Woman with Braid. The technique of sculpture, or rather its internal logic, brought Prinner back to Figurative art.
During the German occupation, hidden away in his garret, Prinner devoted himself to drawing meticulous still-lifes of everyday objects in pen and ink. When he returned to sculpture, it was with the intention of creating works that would mediate with the occult forces which had preoccupied him... The composite creatures that emerge from his personal or esoteric obsessions, with their suggestions of aberrant nature, can also recall the work of Jean Arp.
From 1947 to 1949, Prinner worked on 66 etchings and dry-point illustrations for the Egyptian Book of the Dead, as well as a series of low reliefs on the same theme, which he exhibited in 1948...
Prinner took part in the exhibition The Avant-garde in Hungary, 1910-1930 (L’Avant-garde en Hongrie 1910-1930), which was held in the Galerie Franka Berndt, Paris, in 1984. He had two other exhibitions on returning to Paris from Vallauris, in 1965 and 1969’ (Benezit).
Number 133 of 200 copies on Rives Royal, (there were a further 10 examples on Japon séculaire, with an original drawing, 7 for collaborators on papiers divers. Total edition 217). .see full details
A rare Revolutionary-era educational catechism for elementary school pupils, designed to inculcate a semi-religious sense of revolutionary values.more...
It was first published in 1794 and several times reprinted. This rare edition is significant as an imprint (the second of two) issued by Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, styled ‘imprimeur-libraire’ here. Soon after publication Du Pont’s house was sacked by a mob during the 18 Fructidor V coup. He emigrated to the United States in 1799 hoping to establish a model community of exiles, and fostered his connections with statesmen such as Jefferson. Progenitor of one of America’s most successful and wealthiest business dynasties, he died in America in 1817,
The pupil is asked:
‘Qui êtes-vous? ...Homme libre, français, républicain par choix...’
Pope Joan was a card game popular in both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the name a corruption of the French Nain jaune, the original form of the game.more...
Though widely played before 1800 its first published rules appeared in Hoyle's Games edition of 1814, with the ‘staking board’ having eight compartments labelled: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Game, Pope, Matrimony and Intrigue. Each player receives a number of counters, or chips, whose value is determined by the players involved in the game. The 8 of diamonds is then removed from the pack to form a ‘stop sequence’. The aim of the game is to run out of cards before anyone else.
The game features in Humphreys’ famous satirical print of 1796, ‘Lady Godina’s Rout’ depicting the Lady Georgiana Gordon, Duchess of Bedford at play in a state of dishabillée, while Dickens portrays it as a wholly innocuous family parlour game in the Pickwick Papers and his Life and Times..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
First edition, dedication copy, inscribed by the author to ‘The Queen’, that is, the Jacobite claimant of the British Crown, Maria Theresa of Austria-Este (1849-1919).more...
Theodore Napier (1845-1924), Australian-born of Scottish emigrant parentage, became one of the most colourful Scottish patriots and advocates of the Jacobite succession. Adopting full Highland dress and sporting an extravagant white beard he raised eyebrows in Melbourne and Edinburgh alike and he issued a stream of pamphlets advocating Scottish home rule and the Jacobite succession. The frontispiece here depicts Maria Theresa, with the caption: ‘Who, but for the Act of Settlement, would now be reigning as Queen Mary III. of Scotland, and IV. of England and Ireland.’ The pamphlet was issued as number 17 of the publications of the Legitimist Jacobite League of Great Britain and Ireland, but appears here as an offprint (without reference to the series) on thick paper.
Maria Theresa was the niece and heir of the childless Francis V, Duke of Modena who had been, at the time of his death, the Jacobite heir-general to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland; as such, she became the heir after his death in 1875. Neither she, nor any of her Jacobite forebears since 1807, ever seriously pursued this claim..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
Edward Jacob ‘antiquary and naturalist, was born in Canterbury, the eldest son of Edward Jacob (d. 1756), surgeon and alderman, who served as mayor of Canterbury in 1727–8, and Jane, daughter of Strangford Violl, vicar of Upminster. About 1735 he moved to Feversham [sic] where he lived at 78 Preston Street and practised as a surgeon, following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps. Among his patients was Lord Sondes of Lees Court, Sheldwich. The Jacobs were a long-established east Kent family and several members had served as mayors and magistrates in Sandwich and Dover. Actively interested in local affairs, Jacob was four times mayor of Faversham—in 1749, 1754, 1765, and 1775...
Jacob interested himself in the history of Faversham soon after he had moved there, ‘having an early propensity to the study of antiquities’. He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 5 June 1755, and in 1774 published The History of the Town and Port of Faversham, dedicated to Lord Sondes’ (Oxford DNB).
This is one of the standard copies with 15 plates, some having an 4 additional plates..see full details
Royalist conter-revolutionary journalist Pitou was arrested no less than 18 times during the revolutionary period before being deported to Cayenne for his royalist sympathies. L’Urne des Stuarts et des Bourbons was written on his escape and return to France..see full details