Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2013 Issue

The Curiosity Sale: Drouot, December 19, 2012

Thpic 4

pic.4* - a magic book.

Shazam books !

Benoît Forgeot then showed me a copy of the famous “Livre Magique” (or Magic Book), in its original boards, with no title page but featuring several series of engravings and some intriguing thumb indexes on external margins (pic 4). The plates, hand-coloured at the time (18th century) are lovely, indeed but... Mr. Forgeot winked at me : “ Depending on how you manipulate it, he said, this book tells different stories. According to the thumb index you choose, you open a book with... empty pages ! Or... with all pages featuring a raven or a woman holding an umbrella, etc... It is a magic book !” According to our expert, these books were very fashionable in America. Estimated at 2,000 / 3,000 euros, it went for 5,600 euros, “not such a big price”, regretted Mr. Forgeot.

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