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  • Autograph letter, signed, to Sir Francis Chantrey. by SCOTT, Sir Walter. SCOTT, Sir Walter. ~ Autograph letter, signed, to Sir Francis Chantrey. 16 May, 1828.
    Sir Walter Scott here makes arrangements for a short sitting with sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey before lunching with Lady Shell[e]y. In 1820 Chantrey had produced… (more)

    Sir Walter Scott here makes arrangements for a short sitting with sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey before lunching with Lady Shell[e]y. In 1820 Chantrey had produced his celebrated bust of Scott. A further marble version was made in 1828, with additional sittings by Scott, as alluded to in this letter. ‘The original bust in plaster was completed in 1820. It is now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University. According to Chantrey’s ledger, five marble replicas were made, the most famous of which is that at Abbotsford. Begun in 1820, the Abbotsford bust was not completed until 1821, when Scott gave Chantrey a number of further sittings in the course of two visits to London. The Abbotsford bust remained in Chantrey’s studio from 1821 until 1828, and all the engravings and medallions representing Chantrey’s bust would appear to derive from it. Chantrey offered the bust as a gift to Lady Scott while visiting Abbotsford in May 1825... A third marble version was made for Chantrey's own studio in 1828, for which Scott gave further sittings, and which shows minor changes in the configuration of the face. This version was purchased by Sir Robert Peel in 1838 and is now in a private collection’ (Oxford DNB).

    Frances Lady Shelley was one of the principal English diarists of the George III period and a close (if not always sympathetic) acquaintance of the Scotts.

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  • Manuscript facsimile of the Ten Commandments, in Latin. by GUTENBERG BIBLE. [S. B. GAYTHORPE. GUTENBERG BIBLE. [S. B. GAYTHORPE. ~ Manuscript facsimile of the Ten Commandments, in Latin. Barrow-in-Furness (Cumbria), 1926].
    A fine manuscript facsimile of the Ten Commandments (Exodus, 1-17), slightly reduced from the text of the Gutenberg (or 42-line, or ‘Mazarin’) Bible. It was… (more)

    A fine manuscript facsimile of the Ten Commandments (Exodus, 1-17), slightly reduced from the text of the Gutenberg (or 42-line, or ‘Mazarin’) Bible. It was made in 1926 by a Barrow-in-Furness engraver, antiquary and astronomer S.B. Gaythorpe. Formerly in the collections of James Dearden.

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  • A single leaf from a printed Book of Hours, by [BOOK OF HOURS. [BOOK OF HOURS. ~ A single leaf from a printed Book of Hours, Paris, c. 1500-10].
    An attractive illuminated leaf in gothic type. The text is a portion of the Office of the Dead from a Book of Hours and opens… (more)

    An attractive illuminated leaf in gothic type. The text is a portion of the Office of the Dead from a Book of Hours and opens with the prayer or chant: ‘Ne recorderis peccata mea domine. Dum veneris iudicare saeculum per ignem’ (Remember not my sins, oh Lord. When thou shall come to judge the world by fire).
    Ex libris James Dearden. Folio Society Collector’s Corner. Catalogue 7 (1962), item 135, illustrated (£3.10).

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  • A single leaf from a decorated manuscript. Northern by [BOOK OF HOURS. [BOOK OF HOURS. ~ A single leaf from a decorated manuscript. Northern France, c. 1500].
    This attractive fragment includes the opening of the prayer to the Virgin ‘O intemerata’ (O Immaculate), commonly included (with the ‘Oscecro te’) in a medieval… (more)

    This attractive fragment includes the opening of the prayer to the Virgin ‘O intemerata’ (O Immaculate), commonly included (with the ‘Oscecro te’) in a medieval Book of Hours. Folio Society, Collectors Corner (n.d, ?1960) £2.

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  • Fragment. by [BOOK OF HOURS, [BOOK OF HOURS, ~ Fragment. France, ?Bourges, c. 1450.
    Ex libris James Dearden. Folio Society, Collectors Corner, catalogue 2 (1961), item 66 (£2.10). (more)

    Ex libris James Dearden. Folio Society, Collectors Corner, catalogue 2 (1961), item 66 (£2.10).

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  • A leaf from a decorated manuscript. by [BOOK OF HOURS. [BOOK OF HOURS. ~ A leaf from a decorated manuscript. France, c. 1475].
    The verso includes the first part of Psalm 42, ‘Quem admodum desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum’ (Like as the hart desireth the water). Ex libris… (more)

    The verso includes the first part of Psalm 42, ‘Quem admodum desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum’ (Like as the hart desireth the water). Ex libris James Dearden. Folio Society Collector’s Corner, catalogue 11 (1962) item 190 (£4).

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  • A single leaf from a decorated manuscript. by [BOOK OF HOURS. [BOOK OF HOURS. ~ A single leaf from a decorated manuscript. France, mid-fifteenth century].
    An attractive single leaf from a Book of Hours including, as an antiphon, the opening verses of Psalm 95, ‘Cantate Domino cantico novum; cantate Domino… (more)

    An attractive single leaf from a Book of Hours including, as an antiphon, the opening verses of Psalm 95, ‘Cantate Domino cantico novum; cantate Domino omnis terra’ (O sing unto the Lord a new song). Ex libris James Dearden. Folio Society Collector’s Corner, catalogue 9 (1962), item 173 (£3)

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  • A single leaf from a decorated manuscript. by BREVIARY. BREVIARY. ~ A single leaf from a decorated manuscript. ?Naples 1450-1500.
    A particularly attractive and well-margined Italian decorated manuscript leaf. It is from a Benedictine Breviary sold at Sotheby's, 13 December 1965, lot 202, £180 to… (more)

    A particularly attractive and well-margined Italian decorated manuscript leaf. It is from a Benedictine Breviary sold at Sotheby's, 13 December 1965, lot 202, £180 to Folio Fine Art, described as 'northern Italian', but probably Naples.

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  • Statuti et capitoli della militia aureate, angelica Constantiana sotto titolo di S. Georgio. Di nuovo riformati, corretti & approbati dall’illustrissimo, & eccell[issi]mo sig[no]re il sig: Hieronimo Angelo: Principe di Tessalia, Conte Drivastense &c: Gran Signore & Sovrano dell’Ordine. by (CONSTANTINIAN ORDER OF SAINT GEORGE). (CONSTANTINIAN ORDER OF SAINT GEORGE). ~ Statuti et capitoli della militia aureate, angelica Constantiana sotto titolo di S. Georgio. Di nuovo riformati, corretti & approbati dall’illustrissimo, & eccell[issi]mo sig[no]re il sig: Hieronimo Angelo: Principe di Tessalia, Conte Drivastense &c: Gran Signore & Sovrano dell’Ordine. Venice: Serenissimorum familiae Angelae … 1578.
    A handsome sixteenth-century Venetian manuscript of the statutes and foundation documents of the Constantinian Order of Saint George, a dynastic military order founded by in… (more)

    A handsome sixteenth-century Venetian manuscript of the statutes and foundation documents of the Constantinian Order of Saint George, a dynastic military order founded by in the sixteenth century for the defence of the Roman Catholic church. Founded by the Angeli, an Italian noble family of Albanian descent, the order claimed a largely fictitious lineage back to Constantine the Great and the Byzantine emperors. This manuscript bears the arms of the Angeli family and was probably made for them. It includes a brief pseudo-history of the order, an explanation and diagram of the gold cross adopted as their emblem, principles of descent, papal privileges and bulls (the earliest of 1293, the latest of 1578), together with 21 chapters of statutes and usages. The text had been printed by Bonelli of Venice in 1573.

    According to a recent historian of the order: The Constantinian Order was established in Italy when Christian Europe was under assault in the east from the expansionist Ottoman sultanate and weakened in the north by the conflicts that followed the Protestant reformation. Its Angeli founders had fled their homeland on the Dalmatian coast at the end of the fifteenth century, following the collapse of the eastern empire and capture of Constantinople, to settle in the territories of the Venetian republic whose interests they had served during much of the previous century. The support the Angeli received from successive Popes was combined with a set of papal briefs and decrees of recognition that ultimately brought widespread acceptance of the Constantinian Order’s history. Its foundation commemorated the liberation of Christians from persecution across the Roman Empire from the north of Britain to the furthest reaches of Mesopotamia, marking the beginning of the decline of pagan beliefs across Europe. Although the Constantinian Order is an institution of the Roman church it nonetheless provides a traditional historic link to both the eastern and western ecclesiastical traditions’ (Guy Stair Sainty, The Constantinian Order of Saint George, 2018).

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  • Esercizio sopra la passione di Gesû Cristo. by (DEVOTION). (DEVOTION). ~ Esercizio sopra la passione di Gesû Cristo. [Italy, seventeenth century].
    A diminutive compendium of personal devotions in the spirit of Thomas à Kempis comprising:

    1-51: Esercizio sopra la passione di Gesû Cristo.
    53-63: Meditazione sopra l’Amor di… (more)

    A diminutive compendium of personal devotions in the spirit of Thomas à Kempis comprising:

    1-51: Esercizio sopra la passione di Gesû Cristo.
    53-63: Meditazione sopra l’Amor di Dio.
    65-77: Meditazione seconda...
    79-89: Meditazione sopra amor proprio.
    91-131: Breve instruzione per far con frutto l’Oratione mentale.
    133-83: Meditatione sopra la Mansuetudine.
    184-200: S[op]re Viaggi del’Anima Religiosa...
    [1-38]: Essercizi Spirituali per Religiose professe..

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  • Album. by (MONOGRAMS and CRESTS). (MONOGRAMS and CRESTS). ~ Album. [British: c. 1850-60].
    A well-presented Victorian monogram album containing over 1600 cut monograms. Many here are private monograms and include a large number of women’s christian names, while… (more)

    A well-presented Victorian monogram album containing over 1600 cut monograms. Many here are private monograms and include a large number of women’s christian names, while there are pages devoted to regiments, naval ships, clubs, associations and Oxford and Cambridge colleges. The presentation is typical, but especially neat and varied, with the cut monograms arranged on decorative pen and watercolour grounds. These are often geometric (circles and other interlocking figures are frequent) but include a gothic window, patriotic flags, mossy borders, anchors and a heraldic garter. Monogram collecting was hugely popular in the mid-nineteenth century and collections like this usually included genuine examples cut from stationery, together with others specially produced by stationery companies capitalising on the fashion. These latter monograms, evidently sold in sets can be quite elaborate, often featuring gold inks and sometimes with amusing and whimsical subjects.

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  • Chambre à air. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ Chambre à air. [Marliac, 2022].
    One of Diane de Bournazel’s magical optical ‘peepshows’ with a window opening onto a mysterious three-dimensional scene within. It features some of the distinctive features… (more)

    One of Diane de Bournazel’s magical optical ‘peepshows’ with a window opening onto a mysterious three-dimensional scene within. It features some of the distinctive features of the artist’s much-admired artist’s books, but makes use of the peepshow form to bring added depth and perspective to her enchanted world. The paper peepshow was popularised by publishers such as Martin Engelbrecht in Munich from the middle of the eighteenth century, evidently inspired by baroque stage sets, but reached the peak of their elaboration in the Victorian era. They were either sold as toys or souvenirs or, in expanded form, were popular fairground attractions. Each of Diane de Bournazel’s peepshows is a unique creation.

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  • Album. by (COOTE FAMILY) (COOTE FAMILY) ~ Album. [France, Italy, Russia and Ireland, c. 1840s].
    A superb collection which includes 24 large watercolours of fashionable interiors in houses and hotels in Pisa, Lucca, Nice, Tours, Lyon (and one in Saint… (more)

    A superb collection which includes 24 large watercolours of fashionable interiors in houses and hotels in Pisa, Lucca, Nice, Tours, Lyon (and one in Saint Petersburg). Richly coloured and detailed these are wonderful visual accounts of contemporary European taste in interior design. Ceiling and wall mouldings, chimney pieces and window frames are rendered in painstaking detail, as are a wide range of furnishings and fabrics, together with domestic articles such as clocks, mirrors, musical instruments, albums, books, prints and pictures. Fabrics, carpets and wall hangings are especially carefully treated, with details of patterns and textures faithfully recorded. The number of books and albums adorning shelves and tabletops is notable, giving an impression of a leisured and cultivated milieu.
    The images are generously proportioned, usually more than 20 cms high and between 25 and 30 cms wide (some are larger). All are probably by the same hand, unsigned, leaving us to search for clues among the captions to the identity of the artist. One refers to the house of ‘My Grandfather Sir Coote’ while two of the pencil drawings are recognisable as the Coote family seat at Ballyfin, Leinster, Ireland. One watercolour refers to ‘ma chambre’ suggesting the watercolours are personal records of a series of visits and stays in popular winter and summer holiday spots, some with prominent hosts. Some images have the captions in pencil on their backs, in a very shaky hand, which have evidently been transcribed when the pictures were pasted into this album, perhaps c. 1860.
    Some of the interiors are unpopulated (and have an eerie quality) while others have well-dressed figures sitting and standing, conversing, reading or drawing. Several faces recur, notably a mustachioed man with longish hair, who might possibly be the artist or a relative. The Anglo-Irish Coote family owned Ballyfin, which became one of the finest mansions in Ireland, from the early nineteenth century and the 9th Baronet, Sir Charles Coote (d. 1864, likely to be the grandfather mentioned in the caption) was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford and was frequently on the continent. He had five sons and two daughters, and presumably many grandchildren — one of whom may have been the artist here. It is possible that the additional pencil drawings (1, 28 and 29) are in different hands.

    1. Pencil caricature ‘The honorable général William Rerelinson’ [sic], signed ‘Vte. R. de Querelly’. (360 × 240 mm), edges creased and slightly frayed.
    2. Portrait of a young girl, untitled (295 × 215 mm).
    3. Interior, untitled, but a variant of the following view (126 × 160 mm).
    4. Caza Leoli - à Pise (126 × 160 mm), closed tear (56 mm) no loss, slightly creased.
    5. Salon au quai du Midi [?Nice] (238 × 180 mm), slight loss at upper corners.
    6. Un salon d’Hôtel - 1842. à Tours (230 × 220 mm).
    7. Eté 1842 Maison Viallon (La Mulatière, Lyon) (235 × 280 mm).
    8. Salon de la Maison Gilly à la Croix de Marbre (Nice) Hiver 1842 et 1843 - Eté 1846 (246 × 342 mm).
    9. Pise - Palais Leoli - Salon. Hiver 1843 et 1844 (235 × 298 mm).
    10. Eté 1844. Bagni di Lucca (225 × 318 mm).
    11. Eté 1845. Viareggio (230 × 280 mm).
    12. Salon. Chez le Prince Méncherski (238 × 310 mm).
    13. Maison Marchet (204 × 274 mm).
    14. [Another version of the above, untitled] (216 × 275 mm).
    15. [Untitled interior with woman reading by a fireside] (250 × 362 mm).
    16. Maison de Roubion (215 × 250 mm).
    17. Maison Gilly (246 × 340 mm).
    18. [Untitled interior, a gentleman seated, in a dressing gown, verso caption ‘ma chambre’] (124 × 146 mm).
    19. Hiver 1844 - 1845 - 1846 à Pise (234 × 314 mm).
    20. Maison Gilly (Adrien) à Nice - Croix de Marbre - Eté 1846 (227 × 295 mm).
    21. [Untitled, an opulent interior] (188 × 262 mm).
    22. Maison Ambroise Tiranty - Nice (Hiver 1846-1847) (246 × 300 mm).
    23. Viareggio (228 × 284 mm).
    24. Petersbourg - Caserne des Chevaliers Gardes (250 × 349 mm), 2 short tears to right border, no loss.
    25. Chambre de mon Gd Père Sir Coote à Nice (288 × 224 mm).
    26. Maison Maselet [or Maschet] (170 × 245 mm).
    27. Photograph, view of Nice (216 × 275 mm).
    28. Pencil drawing [Ballyfin House, Leinster, Ireland] (270 × 375 mm).
    29. Pencil drawing [Ballyfin House, Leinster, Ireland] (180 × 276 mm).

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  • [Notes for a speech on the slave trade]. by (SLAVERY). [BARANTE, Amable-Guillaume-Prosper BRUGIÈRE, Baron de.] (SLAVERY). [BARANTE, Amable-Guillaume-Prosper BRUGIÈRE, Baron de.] ~ [Notes for a speech on the slave trade]. [France, c. 1826].
    Slavery in France was abolished during the Revolution, but was reintroduced by Napoleon in 1804 and not finally abolished until 1838. In April 1826 Charles… (more)

    Slavery in France was abolished during the Revolution, but was reintroduced by Napoleon in 1804 and not finally abolished until 1838. In April 1826 Charles X had signed a treaty formally recognising the independence of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) and it seems likely that these notes were written for a speech given shortly after that date. Barante notes that some viewed the treaty as an act of submission, but he states that the king and the negotiators who signed the treaty had ‘une horreur sincère pour cet infame trafic’ and that the loss of the colony was no threat to France. In the light of the treaty, Barante believes that this was a favourable moment to advance the cause of abolition. Towards the end he refers to the famous saying of Robespierre: ‘Périssent les colonies plutôt qu’un principe’ (though he simply writes ‘périsse les colonies...’ here) but he goes on ‘ces paroles sont atroces — le premier de tous les principes est l’horreur du crime... Cependant ce principe auquel on faisait des sacrifices humains était un principe et de cruauté’. For Barante therefore the fight against the injustice and cruelty of the slave trade is of the highest importance, and these eight pages clearly reveal his humanity and support for the cause of abolition.
    Prosper de Barante (1782-1866), a prominent liberal voice in nineteenth-century France was variously a diplomat, politician, statesman, historian and writer. From 1807-9 he was a ‘sous préfet’ in the department of Ardèche, and from 1813-15 prefect of Loire-Inférieure at Nantes. He made several diplomatic visits to Spain and Poland and was a close friend of liberal thinker Benjamin Constant. He was also a member of the Coppet group in the circle of Madame de Staël.

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  • La Déclaration de droits. by [BARANTE, Amable-Guillaume-Prosper BRUGIÈRE, Baron de.] [BARANTE, Amable-Guillaume-Prosper BRUGIÈRE, Baron de.] ~ La Déclaration de droits. [France, c. 1850].
    It deals with the various attempts to frame legislation on human rights from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, the Rights of Man in… (more)

    It deals with the various attempts to frame legislation on human rights from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, the Rights of Man in the American Revolution, the French Revolution, to his own time. He examines each and discusses the difficulties of framing a Declaration of the Rights of Man. This manuscript was evidently the basis of his essay ‘Déclarations des droits de l’homme et du citoyen’ published in Études littéraires et historiques (1858).

    Prosper de Barante (1782-1866) a prominent liberal voice in nineteenth-century France was variously a diplomat, politician, statesman, historian and writer. From 1807-9 he was a ‘sous préfet’ in the department of Ardèche, and from 1813-15 prefect of Loire-Inférieure at Nantes. He made several diplomatic visits to Spain and Poland and was a close friend of liberal thinker Benjamin Constant. He was also a member of the Coppet group in the circle of Madame de Staël.

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  • Dinner Book. by EDEN, Morton, first Baron Henley. EDEN, Morton, first Baron Henley. ~ Dinner Book. Berlin [& Vienna], Nov. 15th 1791 [- Dec. 30th 1797].
    A record of dinners given and attended by a prominent British diplomat and his wife in Berlin and Vienna in the years of the French… (more)

    A record of dinners given and attended by a prominent British diplomat and his wife in Berlin and Vienna in the years of the French Revolutionary Wars. Completed on an almost daily basis, the ‘Dinner Book’ lists the names of all the attendees, including many of the key figures in Prussian and Austrian diplomacy, as well as representatives of Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United States. Emigré French nobles also completed many of the tables. The dinners range from state balls and dinners to ‘great’ and ‘little’ suppers given by Eden himself. In Berlin, the Edens were frequent guests at the court of Prussian King Frederick William II and his Queen, while at Vienna the Prince of Stahremberg was a frequent host. British dining companions included Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, the Duke of Buccleuch, Lord Henry Spencer, Sir Robert Cotton and Lord Dalkeith. French guests included the emigré duc de Richelieu, Louis de la Trémouille, Armand de Polignac and on 11 November 1797 in Vienna Eden notes: ‘Dinner was given to the Duke d’Enghien, who stayed here 3 days on his way to Russia...’ As a member of the House of Bourbon Enghien commanded a corps of emigrés established by the Prince de Condé and he was later executed by Napoleon for collaboration with the British. Also among Eden’s acquaintances in Vienna was American statesman Gouverneur Morris, who was in Vienna in the autumn of 1796 as American Minister Plenipotentary to France. He is noted in Eden’s book as ‘Mr Morris — American’ and dined with him at least six times.
    The dinners form the diplomatic and social background to the negotiations concerning the balance of power in Europe during the French Revolutionary Wars — on 4 May 1795, for example, Eden had signed a treaty with Austrian chancellor, guaranteeing a loan of £4,600,000 to Austria for fielding 170,000 troops in Germany against France.
    Educated at Eton and Christchurch, Oxford, Eden was appointed ‘envoy-extraordinary and minister-plenipotentiary at the court of Berlin. He was nominated a knight of the Bath on 16 December 1791 and, at the special request of George III, was publicly invested with the insignia of the order by the king of Prussia on 1 January 1792. In February he very readily proceeded to Vienna as ambassador to the emperor of Austria for a year, and on 12 November 1794 he was sworn in a privy councillor, and, after reluctantly agreeing to be dispatched to Madrid as ambassador-extraordinary, he was reappointed envoy-extraordinary to Vienna to negotiate the war loan to the emperor. He remained in the Austrian capital for five years’ (Oxford DNB).

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  • The Seven Deadly Sins... illustrated in Mediaeval Manner by Phillys [sic] Vere Campbell. by BOWEN, Marjorie. BOWEN, Marjorie. ~ The Seven Deadly Sins... illustrated in Mediaeval Manner by Phillys [sic] Vere Campbell. 1950.
    A rather extraordinary faithful manuscript copy of Bowen’s set of seven strange satirical tales originally published in the Pall Mall Magazine, December 1913-June 1914, complete… (more)

    A rather extraordinary faithful manuscript copy of Bowen’s set of seven strange satirical tales originally published in the Pall Mall Magazine, December 1913-June 1914, complete with copies of the original illustrations by Bowen’s sister Phyllis Vere Campbell. The identity of the very accomplished copyist is provided only by the monogram on the title-page ‘FMSB’.

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  • Account book. by [ONLEY, Thomas]. [ONLEY, Thomas]. ~ Account book. [London: W. Clowes] 1839-52.
    A regimental account book of one Thomas Olney of Northamptionshire serving with the 1st Batallion Rifle Brigade (soldier 1718) successively at Corfu and the Cape… (more)

    A regimental account book of one Thomas Olney of Northamptionshire serving with the 1st Batallion Rifle Brigade (soldier 1718) successively at Corfu and the Cape of Good Hope and lastly garrisoned at Walmer (Kent). Issued to all serving soldiers, the officia account book records enlistment, next of kin (in this case a mother), distinguishing features, kit issue and payments, which are written into printed columns prefaced by rules and regulations for engagement and conduct. Enlisted for a bounty of £3 17 shilling and sixpence Olney (of the village of Weedon) was issued with a knapsack, towels, shirts, stockings, a holdall, cutlery, shaving kit, a forage cap and strap, webbing, a shell jacket and a clothes brush. After service abroad he seems to have been furloughed in 1851, and the last record here is from Walmer in 1852.

    Though fairly lightly completed the book evidently travelled everywhere with its owner, folded into a canvas roll case, the lower parchment cover sometime removed by him. An evocative item.

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  • [An Album of 50 Watercolours depicting Women’s Fashion. by (FASHION). (FASHION). ~ [An Album of 50 Watercolours depicting Women’s Fashion. Paris, 1867-8].
    A wonderful collection of contemporary fashion designs for the year 1867-8. The title-page, (marked ‘5ème volume) is an emblem of the ever-changing nature of fashion… (more)

    A wonderful collection of contemporary fashion designs for the year 1867-8. The title-page, (marked ‘5ème volume) is an emblem of the ever-changing nature of fashion ― two richly-dressed women stand between marker posts for the years 1867 and 1868, one in deep winter attire with bonnet, scarf, cape and muff, the other in the light spring garments of the following year. Between them an elegant dandy stands with a velocipede (suggesting modernity, movement and rapidity) and above is a cartouche enclosing a naked woman below the legend: ‘Comment l’habiller-t-on?’ (‘how will they dress?’). The final leaf is similarly emblematic, with a splendidly-attired young woman in green stepping from 1868 to 1869 over a running stream.
    Anonymous and evidently once part of a sequence, these brilliant watercolours depict Parisian fashions at their most colourful and sumptuous. Those showing off fabrics with new chemical or aniline dyes of green, mauve and blue are often heightened with gum arabic, adding a lustrous sheen, evocative of rich and heavy silks then much in vogue. Skirts are full and often multi-layered, with arrangements for lifting the outermost layer for walking. Special attention is paid to the backs of these outfits, with a good number seen from the side or behind, showing the elaborate ruffles and bows (which would develop into fully-blown bustles in the following decade). There are stripes, plaids, pleats, ruffles, embroidery, lace and beadwork. Hairstyles are also carefully depicted, with long and thick tresses in a variety of braids and tresses, as well as luxuriantly loose styles.
    The anonymous artist was a highly accomplished fashion artist, brilliantly equipped to render details and textures of fabrics, dress and deportment, of the type employed by designers and couturiers to show off to prospective customers their latest creations. This is a remarkable record of a golden age of Parisian dressmaking at the height of nineteenth-century haute couture when designers such as Charles Worth were claiming the city as the focus of the fashionable world.

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  • [The Game of ‘Bis-bis’ or ‘48’]. by (GAME). (GAME). ~ [The Game of ‘Bis-bis’ or ‘48’]. [?Basque region, Saint Sébastien, c. 1865].
    Manuscript and watercolour maquettes for an apparently unpublished game, including a portion of a folding game mat (on linen), a sheet of counters (uncut, on… (more)

    Manuscript and watercolour maquettes for an apparently unpublished game, including a portion of a folding game mat (on linen), a sheet of counters (uncut, on parchment), numerous drawings and sketches as trials for the game positions (on paper and tracing paper, some coloured) and several sheets of manuscript instructions in French and Spanish. The game seems to have been a type of lotto, with parchment counters (corresponding to game positions) which were to be placed in a spherical wooden ‘bank’ for shuffling, before being drawn by the players.
    The game’s origin in a French household at Saint Sébastien is indicated by the use of numerous scraps of waste paper from the French Consul’s office there ― perhaps it was made by a member of his own family or staff. The sketches are highly accomplished and carefully rendered, often with several preliminary sketches before reduction in gouache to the size of the parchment game counters.

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