• <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 52. Charles Schulz, Original Peanuts Snoopy Baseball Strip, U.S.A, 1964. Starting price $16,000.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 6.<br>Maurice Sendak (1928-2012), 'Max, Where the Wild Things Are', Pen & Ink, 2012. Starting price $1,500.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 13.<br>Leo Rijn after Dr. Seuss, Cowfish Maquette, U.S.A, 1998. Signed on stand. Starting price $1,000.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 17.<br>Dr. Seuss, Untitled, Color Pen & Ink, C. 1940. Signed ‘Dr Seuss’ lower left. Starting price $4,000.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 19.<br>Dr. Seuss, ‘I wonder how I offended George…’ Pen & Ink, C. 1930. Starting price $7,500.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 29.<br>Disney Studios, 'Queen, Snow White', Concept Sketch, U.S.A., C. 1937. Starting price $3,000.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 30.<br>Marc Davis, 'Sleeping Beauty in a Meadow', Production Cel, 1959. Signed. Starting price $1,200.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 50.<br>Charles Schulz, Original Peanuts Daily Strip, USA, 1966. Signed 'Schulz'. Starting price $10,000.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 58.<br>Chuck Jones, Signed, hand-painted Production Cels from Duck Dodgers, 1952. Starting price $4,500.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 77.<br>Stan Lee, Marvel Studios, Bishop,<br>X-Men, Production Cel, C.1995. <br>Starting price $240.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 79.<br>Warner Bros, 'New Adventures of Superman', C. 2000. Production Cel. Starting price $300.00.
    <b>AUCTIONATA Oct 14th:</b> Lot 84.<br>Tim Burton, Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas, C. 1993. Starting price $1,500.00.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autograph letter signed by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to Senator John William Clark Watson, Richmond, 1865. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autograph poem by John Quincy Adams from an album kept by Abby Smith, w. inscription signed by her grandfather, John Adams, 1820s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Typed letter signed by Theodore Roosevelt to assemblyman Michael A. Schapp, New York, 1913. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autograph letter signed by Richard Wagner to Hofkapellmeister Max Seifriz, Zürich, 1853. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Photograph signed and inscribed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to librettist Paul Collin, 1888. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> <i>Katalog der Wiener Kunstschau</i> signed and inscribed by Egon Schiele, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Autographs
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Letter signed by Mohandas K. Gandhi to Dr. John Haynes Holmes, Sevagram, 1940. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Photograph signed and inscribed by Marilyn Monroe to Dulce Brito, circa 1957. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 22:</b> Two typed letters signed by William Faulkner, Los Angeles, 1943. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> A patriot who fought with George Washington Superb Daguerreotype of Baltus<br>Stone at age 101 (1846).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Edward Curtis portrait of Honovi, Walpi Snake Priest "Honovi was one of the author's principal informants" (1910).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> The Execution of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators by Alexander Gardner (1865).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catharine Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher, and the other siblings with their father Lyman Beecher. By Mathew Brady (1850s).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> From Slaves to World-Famous Entertainers Millie-Christine, "The Two-Headed Nightingale" (c. 1868-71)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Goldfield, Nevada Photograph Collection Fabled Western Mining Boomtown (1905-1906)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Tycoon-Collector Benjamin Richardson poses with his great-grandson as appeared in parade.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Alexander Gardner portrait of Lincoln the only known copy, ex-John Hay (1863).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Magnificent Niagara Falls album with a strong provenance (1867).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Spectacular American West Album From Yosemite to Salt Lake City to San Francisco.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2014 Issue

Cartouche: Myths and Mr. Maurice


Wax bust of Cartouche.

History is a wild battlefield where myths and truth fight an everlasting battle, embracing each other in a raging waltz of love and hate. Of course, books stand predominant on this battlefield. They tell the story of the powerful; they give partial views of events; sometimes they distort facts to mislead us; sometimes, they simply embellish things to please our taste for romance and drama. We readers are often the willing accomplices of our own blindness. If it’s wrong to be delighted by even a lying story, then who wants to be right?


This question I recently asked myself while reading a somewhat fascinating book about one of my favourite topics, the notorious French bandit Louis-Dominique Cartouche: Cartouche, Histoire Authentique by B(arthelemy) Maurice (Paris, 1859). An authentic story of the most romantic villain of the 18th century? Told for the first time from official documents of the period affirms the title page. Now, let’s put it straight: this is a very modest book in the sense that it won’t cost you more than a modern one—though printed more than 150 years ago. But its value lies in its contents. The book was first published in Le Figaro (a still existing newspaper) as a series of articles in 1857, and is a sort of reaction to the best seller Histoire de la Vie et du Procès du Fameux Louis-Dominique Cartouche, et plusieurs de ses complices (History of the Life and Trial of the notorious Louis-Dominique Cartouche and several of his cronies). We’ve already discussed this very popular peddling book (click here) that was first anonymously published the year of Cartouche’s execution (1722). Banned by the police of books for years because of complacency over the bandit’s deeds, it was yet printed more than 40,000 times according to B. Maurice, thus conveying many false statements and assertions about the most lovable French rascal of all times. But in 1857, Mr. Maurice decided to put an end to foolishness.


The True Face of Evil.


The peddling editions of The Life of Cartouche... were often illustrated with the same wood engraving of the bandit wearing a three-point hat, and holding a couple of stolen watches in one hand and a pistol in the other hand. People had grown accustomed with this representation and imagined that Cartouche looked just like that. “The suit à la Louis XVI itself is irrelevant,” wrote Maurice. As far as the watches are concerned, he noted that all through the 366 files of the Imperial Archives related to Cartouche and his crew, only one mentions a watch. “There were watches in Paris at the time but they were quite rare,” he wrote. “They were made nowhere in the world but in Geneva, and not exceeding 5,000 copies a year.” Yet, modern specialist Marie-Agnès Dequidt says that there were roughly one hundred watchmakers in Paris at the time, and that watches were few but not quite rare.

Anyway, the frontispiece was one of the most striking novelties of Maurice’s book. The caption reads: Cartouche, drawn by Foulques, after a photograph taken by Nadar of the wax bust kept in the library of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. A modern frontispiece, indeed; as Felix “Nadar” Tournachon was responsible for taking the first aerial photograph of Paris in 1858! B. Maurice printed a certificate of authenticity in his book. It came from the library of Saint-Germain: “This wax bust was, on order of the Regent (Philippe, Duke of Orléans, during the minority of Louis XV, ndr), moulded by a Florentine artist directly on Cartouche, a few days before his execution.” Once the property of the Royal family, the framed bust was officially given to the Museum of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1848—it is still there today. Now, meet the true and official face of Cartouche! The story goes that the hair and moustache of the villain were even cut off after his death and used on his bust. As a matter of fact, though represented on stage and since then in many movies, as a tall and handsome man, Cartouche was only 5 feet tall! But his Bohemian friends of Rouen taught him acrobatics, and contemporary writers all described him as an unusually strong man. When arrested, a bowman rudely pushed him in the back; with his hands tied in his back, Cartouche turned back and kicked his offender in the face!


In his book, B. Maurice destroyed several Cartouchian myths:


Myth#1: Cartouche studied at the Jesuits College where he learnt Latin alongside Voltaire.

The truth: The villain was born in 1693 and his father, a cooper, saw some potential in his kid. “He decided to send him to the Jesuits College,” read the Life of Cartouche... “And what lost him was what should have saved him.” The turbulent kid, longing to wear as nice clothes as his distinguished classmates, started to rob them and eventually had to run away from Paris. But B. Maurice is affirmative that Cartouche couldn’t read or write, as he later initialled and signed his confession by making a cross. It was even found out that he had never made his first communion—nonsense for a Jesuit student. Nor was Cartouche the classmate of Voltaire, as suggested elsewhere. Thus we shall not trust the alleged autobiography of Cartouche, entitled Les Amours et la Vie de Cartouche (Loves and Life of Cartouche) and published after a manuscript said to have been found first in La Bastille after it was taken in 1789, and then in a shack of Le Bicêtreafter the death of his former accomplice Duchatelet, when it reads: “I’ve always loved Latin; and I have often spoken it with my learnt cronies when I wanted to remain unintelligible from those who didn’t understand it.” Every now and then, this fake autobiography quotes a Latin author, but a posse ad esse non valet consequentia, might have said Voltaire.


Myth#2: Cartouche escaped his father dressed up as a pastry cook.

The truth: Cartouche probably never went to school. Thus he never ran away from home after spending two days trapped on the top of a chest in the room of one of his classmates’ servants—according to The Life of Cartouche..., he was stealing money when the sick servant came home, and was forced to hide in this uncomfortable place for two days. But he did meet a group of Bohemians who taught him all the tricks in the game. And eventually came back home before falling in love with a linen maid whom he tried to seduce with valuable presents. Love pushed him to crime and upon noticing his evil inclination, his father decided to have him locked up in an institution. While en route, the unaware kid smelt something fishy and understood that his father had set him up. The peddling book pretends he escaped by dressing up as a pastry cook with a mere piece of clothe rolled around his head, thus passing unnoticed in front of the bowmen who had come for him—Cartouche was very well known for his art of disguise and this was a nice trick to build. But B. Maurice told it as it really happened: pretending to have a natural need to satisfy, the kid turned at the corner of a street... and ran away. Easier, and quite more likely.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 14. Darwin, Charles. 1809-1882. <i>On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection... 1859.</i>. US$ 60,000-80,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 46. Smith, Adam. 1723-1790. <i>An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.</i> US$ 70,000-90,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 224. CIVIL WAR. Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War [1865-1866]. US$ 120,000-180,000.
    255 — add to caption: First Edition, Subscriber’s Copy
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 270. Serra, Junipero. 1713-1774, ET AL. Pangua, Francisco. Letter in Spanish, 1775. US$ 60,000-90,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 77. Apple 1 Motherboard, with label "Apple Computer 1 / Palo Alto. Ca. Copyright 1976." US$ 300,000-500,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 46. The 1934 Nobel Prize Medal for Physiology or Medicine. Presented to George Minot. US$ 200,000-300,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 39. Darwin, Charles. 1809-1882. Autograph Letter Signed ("Ch. Darwin"). US$ 70,000-90,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 4. Lubieniecki, Stanislaw. 1623-1675. <i>[Theatri Cometici pars posterior] Historia Cometarum...</i> US$ 25,000-35,000.
    <b>Bonhams September 21:</b> Lot 3. Vera rare George III mahogany and engraved brass orrery. US$ 200,000-250,000.
  • <b>Sotheby's Paris, De la bibliothèque Stéphane Mallarmé, 15 October.</b>
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 163. Stéphane Mallarmé. An autograph manuscript for <i>Un coup de Dés jamais n'abolira le Hasard</i>. [Avril Ou Début MAI 1897]. Est. 500,000-800,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 109. Manet, Edouard - Edgar Allan Poe - Stéphane Mallarmé. <i>Le Corbeau. The Raven. 1875</i>. Est 80,000-120,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 152. Edgar Degas. <i>Portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé and Auguste Renoir</i>, [16 Décembre 1895]. Est. 40,000-60,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 15. Baudelaire, Charles. <i>Les Fleurs du Mal. Paris, Poulet-Malassis et De Broise, 1861.</i> <br>Est. 80,000 - 120,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris, De la bibliothèque Stéphane Mallarmé, 15 October.</b>
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 137. Mallarmé, Stéphane. Vers Sur un Galet D'Honfleur. [Eté 1892 OU Été 1894.] Est. 5,000-8,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 48. Gide, André - Maurice Denis. <i>Le Voyage d'Urien. Paris, Librairie de L’Art indépendant, 1893.</i> Est. 20,000-30,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 103. Mallarmé, Stéphane - Edgar Allan Poe. Manuscripts Autographs. [1870-1875 ET 1869]. Est. 80,000-120,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 107. [Revue - Stéphane Mallarmé] La Derniere Mode. Gazette du monde et de la famille. Est. 40,000-60,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris, De la bibliothèque Stéphane Mallarmé, 15 October.</b>
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 110. Mallarmé, Stéphane - Edouard Manet. <i>L’après midi d'un Faune. Églogue. Paris, 1876.</i> Est. 30,000-50,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 160. Mallarmé, Stéphane. Premier état D'un Un Coup De Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard. Manuscrit Autographe. [1897].<br>Est. 60,000-80,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 164. Mallarmé, Stephane. 6 jeux d’épreuves Pour un Coup De Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard De l’édition définitive chez Vollard. Est. 100,000-150,000 EUR.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris</b>: Lot 198. [Méry Laurent] <i>Liber Amicorum De Méry Laurent</i>. 1875-Fin Des Années 1890]. Est. 50,000-80,000 EUR.

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