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  • Histoire des hommes du Nord ou Danois et Normands. Depuis les temps les plus reculés, jusqu’a la conquête de l’angleterre par Guillaume de Normandie... by WHEATON, Henry. Emma CHUPPIN [de GERMIGNY, translator]. WHEATON, Henry. Emma CHUPPIN [de GERMIGNY, translator]. ~ Histoire des hommes du Nord ou Danois et Normands. Depuis les temps les plus reculés, jusqu’a la conquête de l’angleterre par Guillaume de Normandie... France, c. 1830s.
    An unpublished French translation of Wheaton’s influential History of the Northmen (1831) by Emma Chuppin de Germigny (1809?-1852). History of the Northmen is notable as… (more)

    An unpublished French translation of Wheaton’s influential History of the Northmen (1831) by Emma Chuppin de Germigny (1809?-1852). History of the Northmen is notable as the first book in English to claim that America had been discovered by the Norse before the voyage of Columbus.

    The translator Emma Chuppin de Germigny was the daughter of a noble emigré settled in Normandy after the Revolution. A long biographical entry in the Mémoires of the Caen Académie recounts her life: her family’s reduced circumstances necessitated her work as a schoolmistress in Caen, during which time she produced a series of scholarly works (including the Wheaton translation). She published a history of music in Normandy from the ninth century to her own day (1836) and an account of the Bayeux Tapestry (1846). Her translation of Wheaton’s work was not published, though the form of this manuscript, and Emma’s circumstances, strongly suggests it was intended to be. It is almost certainly in her autograph, with occasional corrections. In the event, a French edition by Paul Guillot, with numerous additional apparatus, appeared at Paris in 1844.

    Wheaton, a native of Providence, Rhode Island and an alumnus of Brown University was prominent as a lawyer, diplomat and antiquarian. His research into Scandinavian history began with his appointment to Denmark as chargé d’affaires in 1827.

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  • Recueil de chansons. by (CHANSONS). (CHANSONS). ~ Recueil de chansons. [France, c. 1860s].
    A very neat collection of popular songs, most from the 1850s, of the sort circulated in ephemeral printed and manuscript song sheets. Highlights include: Est-ce… (more)

    A very neat collection of popular songs, most from the 1850s, of the sort circulated in ephemeral printed and manuscript song sheets. Highlights include: Est-ce le hatchich qui t’a mis comme ça: an uncommon reference to hashish in this context, and a song (in common with several others in the manuscript) for which we can find no printed source. Sung to the tune of ‘Aÿ chiquita’, this is a woman’s complaint to her suitor, with the chorus:

    ‘Est-ce l’absinthe, ou bien encore,
    Le hatchich qui t’as mis, dis-moi,
    Dans cet état que j’aborre,
    Et tu veux m’aimer! Ah! Tais-toi.’

    This is hardly Baudelaire, but a pleasing contemporary parallel to Les Paradis artificiels.

    Others include Les Cris de Paris, Les Chemins de fer and Les Anges de la charité ou les inondés de 1856 and there are songs attributable to Pierre Dupont and Charles Durand, both popular in the 1850s and 60s. Some are in dialect and typically, the subjects tend towards love, drink and gastronomy, but there are also a couple alluding to the language of flowers. The compilation is scrupulously neat—and is presumably, in part, an exercise in penmanship.

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  • Étude sur la transformisme [and] Dictionnaire botanique. by (NATURAL HISTORY). DUMOULIN. (NATURAL HISTORY). DUMOULIN. ~ Étude sur la transformisme [and] Dictionnaire botanique. [Belgium, Herstal, prov. Liège, 1920s- c.1943].
    The life work of a Belgian natural history enthusiast, a massive and extraordinary collection of gathered knowledge, illustrated throughout with thousands of the author’s distinctive… (more)

    The life work of a Belgian natural history enthusiast, a massive and extraordinary collection of gathered knowledge, illustrated throughout with thousands of the author’s distinctive naive watercolours. The manuscript, in four volumes (one elephant folio, three folios), consists of complex visual arrangements of data which often extends over huge folded charts, each leaf filled to its maximum extent in neat manuscript in coloured inks. Though undated, it includes materials gathered in the period c. 1920-1943 and perhaps before, and in an inserted note, the otherwise unknown compiler describes the work of ‘most of my life’. It would appear to be the work of an amateur rather than an academic specialist, hence its striking originality as a work of popular science.

    The large folio volume is really a huge collection of charts devoted to human anatomy, animal and plant biology, the fossil record and evolution (or transformisme). Botany makes up the largest proportion, but there are sections on insects, reptiles, birds, flying lizards, marsupials and mammals. Dumoulin also had an interest in Africa and there are sections on the Sahara and on the Belgian Congo. The focus is worldwide and is drawn from reference works rather than original research, but the arrangements are highly idiosyncratic. Several evolutionary charts are attempted, mentioning Linnaeus, Darwin, Lamarck and Jussieu.

    The Dictionnaire botanique is a large 3 volume compilation mainly devoted to botanical classification, from the smallest mosses and seaweeds, to exotic flowering plants and forest trees. Like the larger folio volume, these volumes are illustrated throughout, with accompanying text in coloured inks and often containing emblematic figures of human figures appropriate to the origins of the plant: including Africans and Americans. They have apparently been bound from a large number of separate files (whose stiff paper cover with labels are preserved) each devoted to a different botanical family. The third volume contains additional materials at the end, including a study on Pasteur and germs, another on insects and another on bird classification. Like the preceding parts, these are also copiously illustrated in colour.

    We have discovered almost nothing of Dumoulin himself, though various details place him in the French-speaking Walloon region of Belgium around Liège. He includes a couple of leaves devoted to Belgium, one with an interesting historical schema (including a memento of various gas attacks in the Great War). A couple of inserted letters are to Belgian academic scientists and one expresses Dumoulin’s hope that his work would end up at a University. The cover of largest volume bears various mottos, perhaps a personal credo: ‘La vie sans science est presque l’image de la morte, C. Volpi’, ‘Chercher. Comprendre. Vouloir. Pouvoir. Oser. Sentir. Méditer’, ‘Naître, mourir et renaître sans cesse, telle est la loi, telle est lavie. V. Hugo’ and ‘Travailler pour être estimé. Etre estimé pour être aimé. Etre aimé pour être heureux’. The wooden stand suggests an intention for display. Whether this was an elaborate teaching aid, or simply an almost-incredible recreation, is an open question.

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  • (FARMING). [Account book]. ~ Livre de compte des chaptels & amodiations des métayers Jean Rateau, François le Beuf, Philibert Baudon, & Isac le Beuf avec le dénombrement des bestiaux qu’ils avoient où que leurs ay remit dans le tems du compte que j’ay fait avec eux le 9eme de Novembre 1733 [Burgundy, 1733-1758].
    Some twenty years’ accounts kept on behalf of a Burgundian landlord, of 5 métayer tenant farmers, who farmed on his land, with his resources, in… (more)

    Some twenty years’ accounts kept on behalf of a Burgundian landlord, of 5 métayer tenant farmers, who farmed on his land, with his resources, in exchange for a share (notionally a half) of the profit. These were principally livestock farmers raising cattle and sheep, so the accounts provide interesting first-hand details of the economics of the French meat and wool industries of the period. All the farmers are named on the title-page, but Isac Lebeuf’s farm was run after his death by his widow, Marie, so the account for 1736 is in her name. Prices are given for animals bought as stock and then sold to butchers or sheared and the fleeces sold. The accounts give a very clear and intelligible picture of the initial capital of each farm, of introduced stock, of running costs and of the shares of yearly profits.

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  • [Chansons], by ARBEZ-CARME, [Elie Eugène]. ARBEZ-CARME, [Elie Eugène]. ~ [Chansons], Bourg-en-Bresse, Ain [Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes], 1898-9.
    An illustrated chansonnier, highly decorated, and including songs such as: Souvenir de ‘70, Les Femmes soldats, Le Baiser, l’Anglaise, Le Testament du Libre-Penseur, Marche du… (more)

    An illustrated chansonnier, highly decorated, and including songs such as: Souvenir de ‘70, Les Femmes soldats, Le Baiser, l’Anglaise, Le Testament du Libre-Penseur, Marche du Bataillon d’Afrique, L’Africaine, Départ pour Madagascar, La Pucelle de Bellville, Les Prisonniers morts pour la liberté.

    These notebooks are a fascinating example of a popular method of collecting popular French cabaret songs, all neatly copied up with headings and illustrations (usually suitably suggestive) copied from contemporary song sheets (an example of one of these loose sheets is loosely inserted). We have seen several similar examples, in which the illustrations are apparently traced using carbon paper from printed (or other manuscripts) exemplars. Their context is usually military or naval and they represent a significant form of popular or naive art.

    The decorative title, with elaborate borders describes Arbez Carme as ‘employé au Magasin des Vivres de Réserve du 23me Reg[im]ent d’Inf[anter]ie a Bourg, Ain’. Military records record his birth in 1876 in Jura, his occupation as a perruquier (wigmaker) and his recruitment in 1896.

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  • Traité de Perspective manuscrit par le Père Dubreuil Jésuite. by DUBREUIL, Jean, Abbé. DUBREUIL, Jean, Abbé. ~ Traité de Perspective manuscrit par le Père Dubreuil Jésuite. [France, later-seventeenth century].
    A seventeenth-century manuscript copy of Dubreuil’s La Perspective Pratique necessaire a tous peintres, graveurs, sculpteurs, architectes, orfevres, brodeurs, tapissiers, & autres se servans du dessein...… (more)

    A seventeenth-century manuscript copy of Dubreuil’s La Perspective Pratique necessaire a tous peintres, graveurs, sculpteurs, architectes, orfevres, brodeurs, tapissiers, & autres se servans du dessein... première partie, first published in 1642. Evidently well-used, rebound in the nineteenth-century, and to judge from the binding, still handled and used thereafter, this is a large illustrated fragment consisting of parts 1, 2 and most of 3 (of 7) of the text. The original title-page and front matter, was replaced by a simple manuscript title, probably at the time of rebinding.

    La Perspective Pratique, by Jean Dubreuil ‘the Jesuit’ (1602–1670) was popular among artists, architects and designers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and was still being used by artists well into the nineteenth century as a practical introduction to perspective drawing. As the original title indicates it was intended for the use of painters, engravers, sculptors, goldsmiths, embroiderers and tapestry workers and had a very wide circulation, reprinted in numerous editions, including several in English. It proceeds from the principles of drawing simple shapes and solids in perspective, to specific objects such as chairs, tables, opening chests and shelving, then to buildings and townscapes. Each set of instructions is accompanied by detailed illustrations, which were widely copied. In the printed editions, these were presented as engraved plates opposite the letterpress text, but in this manuscript they are carefully incorporated into the text for ease of use. It seems to have been a practical handbook, extensively, but carefully handled (but not marked or annotated) over a long period of time.

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  • Histoire métallique de Napoléon ou Recueil des médailles et des monnaies qui ont été frappées depuis la première campagne de l’armée d’Italie jusqu’à son abdication en 1815. by [MILLIN DE GRANDMAISON, Aubin Louis; James MILLINGEN, editor]. [MILLIN DE GRANDMAISON, Aubin Louis; James MILLINGEN, editor]. ~ Histoire métallique de Napoléon ou Recueil des médailles et des monnaies qui ont été frappées depuis la première campagne de l’armée d’Italie jusqu’à son abdication en 1815. Londres: [G. Schutzer, 13 Poland St] imprimé pour l’éditeur. Se trouve chez Treuttel et Wurtz... 1819 [-1821].
    A interesting and unique copy of this monumental pictorial record of European coins and medals struck in the Napoleonic era, including many commemorative medals of… (more)

    A interesting and unique copy of this monumental pictorial record of European coins and medals struck in the Napoleonic era, including many commemorative medals of battles and truces. A printed book, with a London imprint, with portions (including title) in manuscript copy, and plates dissected, partly copied in manuscript and re-arranged. It is difficult to interpret the unusual hybrid form here, but it would appear to be a contemporary collector or curator’s production allowing the illustrations to be consulted alongside their descriptions in the text. The plates in the printed edition presented the coins and medals in a different order to the text, with corresponding numbers linking the illustrations, but turning from text to plate may have been a tiresome business. The fact that the titles, preliminary text and indexes are given as manuscript copies is less easy to explain, though at least one of the manuscripts indexes is more comprehensive than that of the printed edition. Many of the illustrations are marked with a small flower shaped inkstamp, perhaps also a collector’s demarcation.

    Millin de Grandmaison (1759-1818) had been curator of the Cabinet des médailles et antiques of the former French royal library but died before this survey could be published. The manuscript was passed to the British-born James Millingen, formerly of the French mint, later an antiquary and dealer, who collated it and published it in London in both French and English versions. The imprints are faithfully copied in manuscript in our version, but it is likely a French rather than a British production.

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  • Lettres ornées du 16ème siècle [spine title]. by BAUDON, A. BAUDON, A. ~ Lettres ornées du 16ème siècle [spine title]. [Paris, c. 1860s].
    A collection of finely-executed miniatures reproducing in colour sixteenth-century printer’s ornaments and initials: 39 selected initials, three tailpieces, one headpiece and one printer’s device (Giunta,… (more)

    A collection of finely-executed miniatures reproducing in colour sixteenth-century printer’s ornaments and initials: 39 selected initials, three tailpieces, one headpiece and one printer’s device (Giunta, dated on verso 1567). Some are signed, minutely, ‘A. Baudon’ who we have been unable to trace. The artist has copied, in remarkable detail, these metalcut ornaments, reproducing in many cases the speckled backgrounds typical of punched or ‘criblé’ designs.

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  • Jugemens humains [and other extracts]. by (CALLIGRAPHY). GREGOIRE, L. (CALLIGRAPHY). GREGOIRE, L. ~ Jugemens humains [and other extracts]. [France], October, 1780.
    A series of calligraphic models or exercises of impressive size and quality. The writer, who signs his (or just possibly, her) name, minutely, at the… (more)

    A series of calligraphic models or exercises of impressive size and quality. The writer, who signs his (or just possibly, her) name, minutely, at the foot of the first leaf, has chosen two edifying texts to transcribe. The first three sheets contain passages (including one on the immorality of duelling) from Varietés serieuses et amusantes of 1765, while the other eight, rather unusually contain letters from a father to a daughter (Émilie), being extracts from Abbé Gerard’s epistolary novel Le Comte de Valmont, ou les égarements de la raison of 1774. It would be unusual if this denoted a female scribe, but the choice of these extracts is tantalsing.

    Each leaf is ruled in leadpoint and bears a large calligraphic cartouche, some have an additional penwork initial roundel and most exhibit a variety of scripts of exceptional neatness and regularity.

    Becker, Practice of Letters, Hofer collection.

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  • MISSEL. ~ MISSEL. [France, c. 1900].
    An unusual and rather beautiful variant of the lithographed prayerbook illuminated by hand. Such books, printed with broad blank margins could be purchased with a… (more)

    An unusual and rather beautiful variant of the lithographed prayerbook illuminated by hand. Such books, printed with broad blank margins could be purchased with a range of more-or-less unique embellishments in manuscript by talented anonymous ecclesiastical artists, usually women. This example is unusual for the range of its decorative motifs, including flowers, insects, stained glass windows, a sailing boat, elephants, a frog and peacocks. It combines consciously medieval imagery (notably a lady with a unicorn) with a delightful fin-de-siècle lightness, with elements of japonisme and art nouveau.

    The final full page images include a nativity scene with named bells on the opposing page: Jacques, Marie and Magdelain, perhaps a personalisation for its particular owner, again, almost certainly a woman.

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  • The Iron Man [Iron John]. by (GRIMM). PASSINI, Maria Elizabeth R. L. (GRIMM). PASSINI, Maria Elizabeth R. L. ~ The Iron Man [Iron John]. [?London, ‘In the Year of the Lord’, 1931.
    Grimm’s Iron John, the classic tale of male rights-of-passage, is here rendered in calligraphy and a series of fine historiated initials by a young Maria… (more)

    Grimm’s Iron John, the classic tale of male rights-of-passage, is here rendered in calligraphy and a series of fine historiated initials by a young Maria Elizabeth Passini. The style is medievalist, paying homage to the chivalric manuscripts of earlier age, but is unmistakably of the 1930s. We have been unable to find any other examples of manuscripts by Passini, and it must have to have been a student project. Her later works were figurative drawing and paintings, often portraits and graphic designs for commercial clients.

    Elizabeth Passini was born in Innsbruck in 1911 into a family of notable Austrian painters and emigrated to England in the late 1920s where she studied at the Slade School. She also studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, the Central School and St Martins. She was a member of the Pastel Society, Contemporary Portrait Society and a founder member of the Hampstead Artists Council. She was a key member of the Hampstead art scene and regularly took part in the Open Air Exhibitions in Heath Street there from the late 1940s and, later on, the Royal Free Hospital Exhibitions. She taught at the Camden Arts Centre for many years. She died in 1995. Burgh House & Hampstead Museum holds a number of her works.

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  • Coupé-fouetté, Saut de chat [and other steps]. by (DANCE). (DANCE). ~ Coupé-fouetté, Saut de chat [and other steps]. [France, c. later nineteenth century].
    A delightful set of anonymous sequential photographs of ballet steps, presumably designed as a teaching aid, capturing a dancer’s movements broken down frame by frame,… (more)

    A delightful set of anonymous sequential photographs of ballet steps, presumably designed as a teaching aid, capturing a dancer’s movements broken down frame by frame, rather in the manner of Eadweard Muybridge.

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  • et d’ornements dedié aux Elèves de la Visitation d’Ornans. by CAHIER D’ECRITURE CAHIER D’ECRITURE ~ et d’ornements dedié aux Elèves de la Visitation d’Ornans. Ornans: 18 July 1857.
    A set of blank ornamental borders designed for use by the convent girls of the monastery of the order of the Visitation at Ornans in… (more)

    A set of blank ornamental borders designed for use by the convent girls of the monastery of the order of the Visitation at Ornans in Eastern France. Probably destined for use as models for notecards and letters, as suggested by the contemporary tracings. A wonderful example of contemporary decorative arts in a convent environment these watercolours are elegantly ornate, incorporating foliage, flowers, vines, swags and birds. The convent at Ornans had been founded in the early seventeenth century and, after the Revolution, refounded as a religious school in 1839 for girls. The Ordre de la Visitation de Sainte-Marie, or ‘Visitandines’ had existed also from the early seventeenth century, founded as an active order for the visitation of the sick.

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  • Ordinaire de la Messe [Messe de Mariage]. by (ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT). [GRUEL, Léon, binder]. (ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT). [GRUEL, Léon, binder]. ~ Ordinaire de la Messe [Messe de Mariage]. [?Paris, before 1929].
    A superb illuminated manuscript decorated in a wide variety of styles, chronologically arranged, including Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, Greco-Roman, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arab, Byzantine, Carolingian, German,… (more)

    A superb illuminated manuscript decorated in a wide variety of styles, chronologically arranged, including Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, Greco-Roman, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arab, Byzantine, Carolingian, German, Celtic and European styles from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries. The manuscript is unsigned, but is typical of the very best French revivalist artists of the period, who were often (but not always) women trained in ultra-orthodox Catholic religious houses. Leading binders such as Léon Gruel in Paris could call upon a wide range of talented calligraphers and artists for commissions such as this commemorative marriage book for Irma Lafontaine and Émile Brangeon (both born 1899 and married at Lourdes in 1929).

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  • Bookcraft Thesis. Leather. by (BOOKBINDING). [FULLAGER, A.] (BOOKBINDING). [FULLAGER, A.] ~ Bookcraft Thesis. Leather. [England, c. 1950s].
    A very neatly presented elementary project on leather production and its use in craft bookbinding, with useful samples illustrating the different characters and textures of… (more)

    A very neatly presented elementary project on leather production and its use in craft bookbinding, with useful samples illustrating the different characters and textures of goat, sheep and calf, and the nature of morocco. There are also colour samples and some examples of elementary lettering and tooling (presumably by the author) who was probably a student at a British technical college. There are two samples of eighteenth century book covers and a nice drawing of the binding of the seventh century Stoneyhurst/St Cuthbert Gospel, the earliest intact European bookbinding.

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  • [Pedigrees of the most famous families of Belgium. by (POWELL, David, owner and compiler). (POWELL, David, owner and compiler). ~ [Pedigrees of the most famous families of Belgium. Low Countires, sixteenth or seventeenth centuries, with later additions].
    An elaborate antiquarian collection containing 19 large double-page armorials, apparently of the sixteenth century of the major families of Belgium, including Beaufort, Berghes, Egmont, Hornes,… (more)

    An elaborate antiquarian collection containing 19 large double-page armorials, apparently of the sixteenth century of the major families of Belgium, including Beaufort, Berghes, Egmont, Hornes, Lalain, Luzembourg, St. Aldegond, and including a number of members of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Each of these armorials bears detailed contemporary genealogies to their versos. These have been conserved by the British antiquary David Powell (?1772-1848) with other early genealogical material, his own notes and four large drawings of related stained glass, including a large window from the church of Notre Dame du Sablon (Brussels) and another in the hands of ‘Mr Whatson an eminent glazier Hanway Yard Oxford Street’ in 1816.

    Born in Tottenham, Powell became a Lieutenant in the 14th Light Dragoons; he left a manuscript account of his 1794 experiences in Cork, Flanders and Brabant. He later entered Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving a B.C.L. in June 1805. He spent much of the rest of his life making heraldic and genealogical collections, and touring England and Wales to make watercolour sketches of churches and manor houses in over forty counties. He died in 1848, and his library was sold by Puttick & Simpson over three days. Many of Powell's manuscripts are now in the British Library.

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  • Souvenirs sténographiques. Ou, Traité de la Sténographie considérée dans tous ses développements. by (STENOGRAPHY). Antoine (STENOGRAPHY). Antoine ~ Souvenirs sténographiques. Ou, Traité de la Sténographie considérée dans tous ses développements. [?Paris:] 1825-[6]
    A complete course teaching stenography, or the art of writing ‘aussi vite que la parole’, finely written with numerous thumbnail drawings. Divided into four parts… (more)

    A complete course teaching stenography, or the art of writing ‘aussi vite que la parole’, finely written with numerous thumbnail drawings. Divided into four parts (introduction, pronunciation, punctuation and an atlas) with an errata, a table of contents and two sheets of stenographic examples or exercises.

    In the atlas dedicated to the description of the stenographic signs in 13 charts, the last 13 gather 51 finelyy drawn vignettes giving the figurative equivalent of the stenographic signs and their pronunciation: the links of a chain for an open ‘a’ (as in anneaux), a radiating halo for an ‘o’ (as in oréole), a drunkard for the ‘i’ (ivrogne), a gallows for the ‘p’ (potence), a cat for the ‘ch’ (chat), and so on, including a funnel, lyre, clock, umbrella, falls, arrow and gondola, the morphology of the signs given an ideogrammatic cue as a mnemonic. The whole represents a complete teaching system aimed at the aspiring stenographer,

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  • [Calligraphic certificate]. by BECK, Julia, artist and calligrapher. Isabelle BOGELOT and Lady ABERDEEN. BECK, Julia, artist and calligrapher. Isabelle BOGELOT and Lady ABERDEEN. ~ [Calligraphic certificate]. Paris, 1922.
    A calligraphic certificate by Julia Beck, being the copy of a letter of 8 June 1914 sent by a leader of the women’s movement in… (more)

    A calligraphic certificate by Julia Beck, being the copy of a letter of 8 June 1914 sent by a leader of the women’s movement in France, Isabelle Bogelot to Canadian feminist, Lady Aberdeen endorsing the new book by Indiana feminist, May Wright-Sewell, entitled Genesis of the International Council of Women (1914). It was written on behalf of the Conseil National des femmes françaises.

    Calligrapher Julia Beck was born in Stockholm in 1853 and moved to Paris in 1883. She became one of the first female artists from her country to make a living through art alone. She is best-known for her landscape paintings in the Impressionist style, which were highly regarded in France and abroad, but she supported herself partly through commercial calligraphy, at which she excelled. She was a committed advocate for women artists.

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  • Chronologie. by HÉMART, Caroline, owner. HÉMART, Caroline, owner. ~ Chronologie. [France, early nineteenth-century, probably before 1815].
    A Napeoleonic-era manuscript course in classical and modern French history made for a woman or girl, Caroline Hémart. Probably prepared by a tutor, the texts… (more)

    A Napeoleonic-era manuscript course in classical and modern French history made for a woman or girl, Caroline Hémart. Probably prepared by a tutor, the texts are enthusiastically neo-classical in tone: the opening ‘Élements de chronologie’ serve as a grounding in ancient history (with definitions of terms such as ‘Olympiade’) of Europe and the near East, based on the text of Napoleonic scholar, Luc de Lancival. The manuscript concludes with 27 stanzas of a heroic poem, ‘Ode à Clio’ by M. Le Comte François de Neufchateau (published c. 1807), which is, again, a glorious version of history seen through still-rosy Napoleonic lenses.

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  • Sketches from the cinema and other entertainments. by [SOUZOUKI, Ruytchi. [SOUZOUKI, Ruytchi. ~ Sketches from the cinema and other entertainments. Paris, 1949-62].
    A superb collection of over 300 spontaneous sketches made in situ in Paris of popular films and entertainments of the 1950s, including the classics Les… (more)

    A superb collection of over 300 spontaneous sketches made in situ in Paris of popular films and entertainments of the 1950s, including the classics Les Vacances de M. Hulot, Buñuel’s El, Le Ballon Rouge and other French films by Renoir and Meliès, Sophia Loren in Neapolitan Carousel, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in Fancy Pants, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin in Artists and Models and Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop.

    Ryutchi Souzouki (1904-1985) had been a well-regarded and well-connected Montparnasse figure, counting Ernst and Foujita among his friends in the twenties and thirties and frequently exhibiting alongside the surrealists. Born in Yokohama, he spent much of his life in Paris, though his Japanese citizenship prevented him from exhibiting during the war years and probably accounted for his increasing isolation in the post war period. A solitary figure, until his death in poverty, he continued to work, experimenting with automatic drawing and making sketches, such as these, from popular films and entertainments, such as the tableaux vivants of the Casino de Paris, the Folies bergères, conjuring performances and the opera, instantaneously capturing their spirit on scraps of hotel stationery, recycled scraps or cheap spiral-bound notebooks. They are witty, touching and always engaging responses to what he saw in the cinemas and theatres of Paris. Following his death, the contents of his studio, including the many albums he had carefully collated in his final years (like ours) were conserved by his concièrge and dispersed at auction in 1985.

    1949-53, 1953-6, 1953-4, 1956-7, 1962

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