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  • [AUNILLON, Pierre Charles Sabiot, Abbé. L[ouis] Vigée, illustrator]. ~ Memoires de Mad[am]e Vanfeld adressés à mad[am]e la marquise de Ronceval [France: eighteenth century].
    A contemporary manuscript, probably authorial, of an unpublished novel, aptly described by the French literary euphemism as ‘plus que galant’. By the colourful abbé Aunillon,… (more)

    A contemporary manuscript, probably authorial, of an unpublished novel, aptly described by the French literary euphemism as ‘plus que galant’. By the colourful abbé Aunillon, who was evidently more interested by the intrigues of the salon and the coulisses of the Parisian theatres than the contemplations of the cloister, Memoires de Madame Vanfeld narrates the story of the corruption of a young woman and of her subsequent scandalous exploits, almost invariably at the hands of a series of depraved clerics. Told in the words of Madame Vanfeld herself and addressed to a confidant, the marquise de Ronceval, the novel is one of illicit liaisons in convents and country houses, and of stolen moments out of sight of family and convent superiors. It is never precisely explicit but is always entirely transparent. A preface describes it as a roman à clef, with names changed, and a list of the original characters consigned to the flames. A slightly later editor has made numerous corrections and emendations to this manuscript, including changing most of the names once more. A note at the end in a later hand, suggests that the action has at least some basis in fact, pointing to correspondences between at least one episode and passages in Aunillon’ Mémoires published in 1808.

    The illustrator Louis Vigée (1715 – 1767) who supplied the four fine illustrations here was a French portraitist, fan painter, artist in pastels and a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc (and a friend of Vernet and Greuze). He is perhaps most notable as the father of the painter Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun. He was also a correspondent of Madame de Graffigny, and a transcript of a letter from her, having read the Memoires is found at the end of the second volume here.

    Aunillon (1684-1760) was descended from a prominent Anglo-Catholic family (said to have changed their name from O’Neill to Aunillon). A fascinating figure he seems to have turned his back on the church to concentrate on writing for the theatre. He wrote several plays, a fairy tale, at least one other novel and is said to have been a permanent fixture in the Parisian theatres, where he befriended the actresses and became their confidant. He also appears, in 1746, to have acted as a French secret agent in the Rhineland. The manuscript corresponds with that described in the sale of the library of A.L.S. Bérard, Paris, 7 May 1829, lot 1088, where the manuscript corrections are described as being in Aunillon’s autograph.

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  • My Darling and I. by (EROTICA). (EROTICA). ~ My Darling and I. [Paris, c. 1940s].
    A series of witty and finely executed erotic miniatures, presumably a Paris souvenir made with an anglophone audience in mind, most likely the American servicemen… (more)

    A series of witty and finely executed erotic miniatures, presumably a Paris souvenir made with an anglophone audience in mind, most likely the American servicemen in Paris after 1945.

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  • Three original caricatures. by (AMERICAN CIVIL WAR). CHAM [pseudonym of Charles Amédée de NOÉ]. (AMERICAN CIVIL WAR). CHAM [pseudonym of Charles Amédée de NOÉ]. ~ Three original caricatures. [Paris, 1862].
    Three superb preliminary drawings for lithograph caricatures on the Civil War: Saturn is pleased to see it is not just he who devours his own… (more)

    Three superb preliminary drawings for lithograph caricatures on the Civil War: Saturn is pleased to see it is not just he who devours his own children, as the figure of America in feathered head-dress gobbles up one of her people; American game animals congratulate themselves on the chaos of the war, which leaves them safe and sound; while the figure of Europe falls asleep watching the spectacle of war, which has been going on the same for two years.

    1. Le vieux Saturne voyant avec plaisir qu’il n’ya pas que lui qui dévore ses enfants (168 × 212 mm).
    2. Le Gibier américaine se felicitant de la Guerre civile qui lui laisse la paix et la tranquilité (170 × 212 mm).
    3. Finissant par s’endormir à force de leur voir faire toujours la même chose depuis deux ans (182 × 230 mm).

    These three images, by the pre-eminent French caricaturist of the day, were published as lithographs in the Paris journal, Charivari. Cham (1818-79), worked very much in the spirit of Daumier and contributed to the the Charivari for some thirty years; he had also created first French comic book (‘bande dessinée’), Histoire de Mr. Lajaunisse in 1839.

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  • Adieu Vat. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ Adieu Vat. Marliac (Corrèze, Limousin), 2016.
    A unique artist’s book. A powerful fusion of the Dance of Death with the creatures of a Medieval bestiary in De Bournazel’s extraordinary style. Tumbling… (more)

    A unique artist’s book. A powerful fusion of the Dance of Death with the creatures of a Medieval bestiary in De Bournazel’s extraordinary style. Tumbling figures, furtive forest creatures, and a grinning death’s head, combine in this meditation on human mortality, made as a visual diary of the artist’s own personal bereavement. Adieu Vat (an archaic French term of farewell) expresses the sense of incomprehension (a lone figure holds a placard reading ‘NON’, the only word in an otherwise wordless book), of anger, despair, ultimate acceptance and, occasionally humour and consolation. Made in 2016 the book has been retained by the artist until now.

    Diane de Bournazel (b. 1956) creates books as ‘poems without words’ in her unique pen, ink and gouache style, filling each page with mazes of vegetation, mysterious borders, structures and figures, opening windows within pages allowing us to see behind and beyond them, suggesting a series of alternative worlds and narratives. Drawing on the universals of the cosmos, the natural world, of childhood and human relationships each of her books invite careful ‘reading’ and multiple interpretations. Collectors have found the books to speak for themselves, and the artist writes of her work simply as:

    ‘Poésie sans paroles.
    Il s’agit bien de ça.
    Mettre en images le monde et l’arrière monde,
    Comme un poète mais sans mot dire’.

    Her work is represented in private and public collections in France (including the Bibliothèque nationale), the United Kingdom and in the United States (Boston Athenaeum, San Francisco Center for the Book etc).

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  • with books and manuscripts
    [84 fine watercolour vignettes, including 20 depicting books and stationery. by [LARDIN, Jules?]. [LARDIN, Jules?]. ~ [84 fine watercolour vignettes, including 20 depicting books and stationery. France, early nineteenth century].
    A series of anonymous watercolours, with numerous floral borders and vignettes, but also including 20 lovely compositions with books, journals, bundles of letters, music, a… (more)

    A series of anonymous watercolours, with numerous floral borders and vignettes, but also including 20 lovely compositions with books, journals, bundles of letters, music, a writing desk, a watercolour stand, inkwells and pocket books. The style is very much in the Empire taste, and the flower painting is exquisite. The volume appears to have been bound from loose sheets, many of which may have been destined as title pages for some uncompleted album project: a few have tiny marginal notes in ink giving a volume number and several are ruled in pencil for the addition of text.

    Many bear the monogram ‘AD’ and some the name Délie, together with dedications ‘À toi’ or ‘À elle’, as though all were in some way dedications to a sweetheart or perhaps a child. There is a slightly morbid air to some, towards the end, which depict tombs, memorials and a deathbed scene. Among other subjects are a billiard room, a pet dog in a basket and two most inviting beds.

    A modern manuscript note loosely inserted connects the album to Jules Lardin (1787-71), poet, musician and dilettante. Lardin is known to have created designs for tickets and publicity for concerts and to have made several albums, so this attribution is quite possible. The identity of ‘Délie’ is another question.

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  • Maximes générales sur la guerre de campagne. by (MILITARY). (MILITARY). ~ Maximes générales sur la guerre de campagne. [France, mid eighteenth century, but after. 1759].
    Probabaly compiled in the aftermath of the Seven Years War, this anonymous pocket treatise on the art of war comprises six chapters: [1] Maximes générales;… (more)

    Probabaly compiled in the aftermath of the Seven Years War, this anonymous pocket treatise on the art of war comprises six chapters: [1] Maximes générales; [2] Des Camps de Rassemblement; [3]. La Guerre de Campagne, comprend l’objet, le plan général, le plan particulier, la conduite, re résultat et la fin des operations; [4] Campagnes de deffensive; [5] Campagnes d’hiver; [6] des Capitulations. Written from the point of view of a prospective military commander or general, it introduces the principles and objectives of campaign warfare of the sort that dominated European history in the eighteenth century. It makes occasional references to historical persons (Turenne and the Duc de Broglie) as well as to more recent events, such as the winter campaigns of 1757-9).

    Provenance: Early ownership inscription: Antonio Lopez; Marquis d'Astorga, sale 1870 (described as from the library of the Dukes of Sessa); Bookplate of Ricardo Heredia, comte de Benahavis, sold as lot 551, Paul, Huard & Guillemin, Drouot (Paris), May, 1891.

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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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  • 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 by (FARMING). [Account book]. (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), are 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 tantalising.

    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.

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  • MISSEL. by (PRAYER BOOK). (PRAYER BOOK). ~ MISSEL. [Paris: Bouasse-Lebel, c. 1900].
    An unusual and rather beautiful variant of the lithographed prayerbook illuminated by hand, probably given as a wedding gift, with the nuptial mass and prayers… (more)

    An unusual and rather beautiful variant of the lithographed prayerbook illuminated by hand, probably given as a wedding gift, with the nuptial mass and prayers at the end. 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. The lithographed text has no imprint or other marks of publication, but the silk ribbon marker is woven with the name of Bouasse-Lebel, one of the major Catholic devotional publishers of later nineteenth century.

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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 an earlier age, but is unmistakably of the 1930s. We have been unable to find any other examples of manuscripts by Passini, and it is likely 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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