Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2011 Issue

Manuscripts from Simon Beattie and Justin Croft

Allo. Allo?

Item 7 is an odd musical work which combines a traditional folk dance with modern technology. The title is Âllo Âllo? Mazurka des Telefonistes. This can be translated to “Hello Hello? Mazurka of the Telephones.” The mazurka is a Polish folk dance, and the telephone, at the time this score was written (circa 1900), a modern technological wonder. It inspired A. Caro to write this piece of music for piano. Apparently, the song was never published, though a number of other pieces for piano by Caro were. Perhaps this song should be played on one of those phones with a keyboard that can play notes. £200 (US $315).

Item 1 offers a collection of somewhat more serious songs from mid-18th century France. These are “airs à boire,” or drinking songs. There are 18 of them, including 17 duets, 13 of which are for female voices. The cataloguer notes that these odes to wine “should not be confused with the bawdy drinking songs popular among tavern-goers across the English channel.” While “playful,” and “sometimes even suggestive,” it is pointed out that “they were happily performed with decorum by both sexes.” That's why the French aren't the English. £2,000 (US $3,153).

Item 6 is a collection of notes and drawings that will be of interest to collectors of the American military. They come from France. In 1881, a French mission came to America as part of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown, when American revolutionaries, aided by French allies, defeated the British and essentially won the war for independence for America. The mission was headed by French General Georges Boulanger. Among those who accompanied him was Lieutenant Colonel Blondel of the artillery. Boulanger returned to France after the celebrations, but Blondel stayed on, where he was given a tour of various facilities and other locations of military interest, including West Point, arsenals at Springfield and Frankfort, firearms manufacturers at Bridgeport and New Haven. Blondel kept copious notes, as well as adding drawings of items such as firearms. The openness of the Americans with their French counterpart is somewhat surprising, but this was a period of excellent relations (the Statue of Liberty was gifted just five years later). The manuscripts were evidently given to Gen. Boulanger on Blondel's return as it was part of his personal collection. Gen. Boulanger went on to be the major political figure in late 1880s France, a monarchist many feared would seize control of the republic. He developed a large following, but his opponents would have him accused of treason. Boulanger fled to Brussels where he committed suicide in 1891. £8,000 (US $12,622).

Item 41 concerns a lady who could be described as either a very pious woman or a crazy woman. It is a plea from an anonymous gentleman for veneration, perhaps even canonization, for Anne Chereau Parance, made in 1678. It contains a biography of Mme Parance and a few quotations from her, as the writer could best recall. Apparently, she was pushed, though gently, into marriage, and though she loved and respected her husband, and bore him two children, this was not the spiritual life she envisioned. So, Mme Parance decided to become... well, not a virgin, but chaste. We are unsure how M. Parance reacted to this. She also engaged in mortification, a process of inflicting pain on oneself that somehow slays our sins and makes us more holy. She possessed a cilice, a barbed chain to be worn against the skin, and had various other metal devices. She was into early heavy metal, so to speak. When these were not available, she employed thistles. Though these may make you a better person, we still do not recommend trying them at home. Despite these pleas made to a local religious group, it does not appear that Anne ever received much recognition for her efforts as she appears to be otherwise forgotten. £2000 (US $3,153).

Simon Beattie may be reached at +44 (0) 1494 784954 or simon@simonbeattie.co.uk. The website is www.simonbeattie.co.uk.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.

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